Lynch, Zerwas earn Big 12 honors

Gold and Blue Nation

Senior middle blocker Briana Lynch and junior setter Lacey Zerwas of the West Virginia University volleyball team earned a pair of Big 12 postseason awards, as announced by the league office on Thursday.

Lynch made her first career appearance on the all-conference first team after earning second-team recognition a year ago. Zerwas landed on the second team to collect her first career All-Big 12 honor. Of note, the duo was one of three Mountaineers to play in all 86 sets this season.

“I’m excited to see Bri and Lacey recognized by the conference,” sixth-year coach Reed Sunahara said. “They have worked extremely hard the last year and a half, especially during their time at home during quarantine last spring. I’m so proud of them and how they each have impacted our success this season. I expect even bigger and better things from them next season.”

Lynch, a native of Johns Creek, Georgia, ended the 2020-21 season ranked No. 4 in the Big 12 and No. 52 nationally with a .363 hitting efficiency. She hit above .400 11 times and recorded 223 kills, with just 41 errors, on 502 attacks. Lynch registered double-digit kills in 11 matches, including four of the last five contests. She also paced the Mountaineer defense with 1.06 blocks per set and ranked No. 9 in the league, registering 10 solo stops and 81 block assists.

The middle blocker posted a season-high .600 hitting percentage in West Virginia’s upset win at No. 10 Kansas on Oct. 10, 2020. The mark is the ninth-highest attack percentage in the Big 12 this season. Lynch also earned 10 blocks in a match at Delaware on March 29, good for a career high. The mark is tied for the third-highest block total in the league.

Zerwas, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, finished her junior campaign ranked No. 4 in the conference and No. 84 nationally with 9.73 assists per set. She dished out 40-plus assists 10 times and totaled 837 assists on the year. Zerwas notched 50 or more assists in four matches, including a season-high 58 helpers against Kansas State on Oct. 1, 2020. The mark is tied for the fifth-highest assist total in the Big 12 this season. She also registered 163 digs and 40 total blocks to rank third on the team.

The All-Big 12 awards are voted on by the league’s coaches.

The honorees were led by Big 12 Player of the Year Logan Eggleston (Texas), Setter of the Year Jhenna Gabriel (Texas), Libero of the Year Shanel Bramschreiber (Baylor) and Freshman of the Year Aliyah Carter (Kansas State). Texas coach Jerritt Elliott also earned his seventh career Big 12 Coach of the Year nod.

All nine Big 12 schools were represented on the All-Big 12 Teams. Texas led the way with a combined six student-athletes on the first and second teams.

The Mountaineers ended the 2020-21 season with a 10-11 overall mark and an 8-8 record in Big 12 play.

For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUVolleyball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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