AMES, Iowa – Iowa State middle blocker Grace Lazard has been named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday. The junior picked up the first Big 12 weekly award of her career, and is the third different Cyclone to earn Big 12 Def. POW honors this year, joining three-time winner Hali Hillegas and Alexis Conaway.
Iowa State’s three winners in a season, marks just the second time in the 11-year history of the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award that a team has had at least three different student-athletes earn the award. Kansas had four win in 2013. The Cyclones have now picked up the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award 51 times, more than double the second-highest total of 21 by Kansas.
ISU had a sensational blocking week in wins over West Virginia and TCU, and Lazard was in the middle of it all. Against the Mountaineers, Lazard finished with a career-best 11 blocks while helping lead the Cyclones to a season-best 19.5 total blocks on the night. Against the Horned Frogs, Lazard had eight blocks in an effort that restricted TCU to a -.043 hitting percentage.
For the week, Lazard averaged 2.71 blocks per set. Her 11 blocks are tied for the most by a player in the Big 12 this season. On the season, the junior from London’s 1.30 blocks per set ranks her third in the Big 12 and 45th in the NCAA.
Lazard and the Cyclones are back in action on Wednesday at Kansas State. First serve between the Cyclones and Wildcats will be at 8 p.m. from Ahearn Field House in Manhattan, with ESPNU televising the match.