Sooners Lead Big 12 Academic Team

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

IRVING, Texas – Eleven student-athletes from the University of Oklahoma volleyball team were named to the 2016 Academic All-Big 12 Team. The 11-player total, which includes nine First Team and two Second Team selections, is tied for the most in the conference with Kansas State.

Eleven student-athletes representing the Sooners also marks the highest total in program history. Previously, Oklahoma placed nine players on the Big 12 Academic Team in 2011.

Senior middle blocker Micaela Spann (Carrollton, Texas) became a three-time First Team selection. Student-athletes selected to the First Team maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.20 or higher. Spann, a health and exercise science major, is hitting .362 with a 2.44 kills per set average in her final season at OU. As a four-year starter, she has totaled 779 career kills and 375 blocks.

Senior outside hitter Kimmy Gardiner (Grapevine, Texas) followed up a 2015 Second Team selection with a First Team honor this season. A communications major, she leads Oklahoma with nine double-doubles, while averaging 2.76 kills and 3.47 assists. Gardiner, who began her collegiate career at Mississippi State in 2013, surpassed the 1,000-kill mark for her career earlier this season.

Returning to the Big 12 Academic Team is senior defensive specialist Lauren English (Dallas, Texas), who was a 2014 Second Team honoree. English, an industrial and systems engineering major, has played in 185 sets across her four-year career with 91 digs and 10 service aces.

First-time honorees on the First Team include senior defensive specialist Abbie Higgins (Amarillo, Texas), junior defensive specialist Emma Kelly (Houston, Texas), redshirt-sophomore Rachel Manriquez (Edmond, Okla.), and sophomores Audrey Alford (Norman, Okla.), Madison Drescher (Southlake, Texas) and Alyssa Enneking (League City, Texas).

Named to the 2016 Academic All-Big 12 Second Team are senior defensive specialist Mandy Dolph (Edmond, Okla.) and junior middle blocker Marion Hazelwood (Beach City, Texas). Hazelwood, a management major, is a repeat Second Team selection. She is also a two-time AVCA All-America Honorable Mention and a 2015 All-Big 12 First Team selection. Hazelwood is hitting .316 with 2.61 kills and 1.11 blocks per set this season.