WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - University of Colorado freshmen Alexis Austin and Nicole Edelman have been named to the Pac-12 Conference All-Freshman honorable mention team, announced on Tuesday afternoon by Commissioner Larry Scott.
"I think this is a great honor for both of the girls," coach Liz Kritza said. "It is a great reward for all of the hard work they have put in this year. To play in the Pac-12 is challenging in its own right, but to play as a freshman and to have success as a freshman is pretty unique and special."
Austin, a Houston, Texas native, recorded a team best 364 kills this season, averaging 3.14 kills per set. She also had a team-high 393.5 points. Her 364 kills ties the 31st best total in CU single season history. Austin led the Buffs in kills in 18 of its 32 matches this season and recorded 19 double-digit kill performances. She hammered a career-high 19 kills in a four-set loss to No. 2 Stanford on November 21 at Stanford, Calif. Prior to her 19 kills performance, she had notched 18 kills on two occasions; against Oregon State (October 28 in Boulder) and Arizona (November 11 in Tucson, Ariz.).
"I find this to be a great honor," Austin said. "2012 had a wonderful class. It's a great honor to be on a team with them."
Edelman, a Boulder, Colo., native, handed out 1,060 assists this season, and ranks ninth on CU's career-chart. She averaged the eighth-best total in the Pac-12 with 9.22 assists per set. Edelman had a career-high 53 assists in a five set come-from-behind win against Arizona State on October 12. She also attacked well, hitting .302 this season with 99 kills and just 28 errors on 235 attacks. Edelman recorded a hitting percentage of .500 or higher in nine contests this campaign. She also led CU in service aces with 27. Edelman was the first Buff since 2007 to serve up five or more aces when she had six in a three-set win over Howard on September 7.
"It means a lot to be mentioned on any Pac-12 team because this is such a competitive conference," Edelman said. "There are so many good freshmen, as well as other classes, and to be recognized for all of the hard work is an honor."
Austin and Edelman become the first two CU volleyball players to earn a Pac-12 honor since the Buffs joined the conference in 2011. Both had standout freshmen campaigns, helping the Buffs to a 14-18 overall record and a 4-16 record in the Pac-12. CU recorded eight more overall wins during the 2012 campaign and three more Pac-12 wins than the previous season.
"I look at this as a good stepping stone and a good piece we can springboard off of to continue their development and success and with that the overall program will take a step next season," Kritza said. "I think this has been the most competitive freshman class than any Pac-12 coach has seen and to have two players mentioned in that group is a great honor. I think this will spur them to work even harder."