Staiger, Brusek earn Big 12 weekly honors

Sophomore outside hitter Aniah Philo (right) and junior libber Jana Brusk (center) prepare to return serve on Sept. 17 at the Ferrell Center against Washington State. The Bears won 3-2. Photo Credit: Timothy Hong | Lariat Photographer

On Monday, junior outside hitter Katie Staiger and junior libero Jana Brusek were named this week’s Big 12 Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively. It is the first time in Baylor volleyball history that the Bears had two players recognized on both offense and defense for the Big 12 conference.

Staiger was awarded her second title as Offensive Player of the Week. She leads the Big 12 in total kills and is second in the nation. She is leading the conference with 64 kills and 5.82 kills per set, and 23 of those kills came from Sunday’s 3-0 sweep against the Wildcats. In that game, Staiger became the first player since 2001 to have 23 or more kills within a game.

Fellow teammate junior middle hitter Camryn Freiburg said she has enjoyed playing with Staiger.

“It’s so fun to play with her,” Freiburg said. “You can always trust her, and she always gives us confidence right back.”

While Staiger has been at the top of her game, she continues to give credit to others.

“I’ve said this before, but I’m always the third person to touch the ball,” Staiger said. “Our defense is playing so good right now; the setters are doing great. The whole team is in a rhythm.”

Brusek was named the Defensive Player of the Week for her performance in the Kansas State game this past weekend. This is the junior’s first conference honor for the year. Brusek led the Big 12 with 65 digs over the last three matches and is the seventh player in the school’s program to have 22 or more digs in a single game.

Baylor now has its second and third Big 12 honors for the year, with Staiger’s previous acknowledgement earlier in the season.

Head coach Ryan McGuyre said he is proud of his team and all they have accomplished so far this season.

“Confidence is something all the girls have; It comes from within,” McGuyre said. “I think right now they’re just enjoying playing together, and that’s one of the first steps in learning how to win and to make sure that it’s pleasurable at the times it becomes intense and full of pressure.”

The Bears will be back in action at 7 p.m. today at the Ferrell Center as they face the Texas Tech Red Raiders.