LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior libero Brianne Riley was a primary reason behind the Jayhawks’ undefeated run through the InnTowner Invitational and was awarded All-Tournament honors for her performance. The Big 12 Conference agreed and named Riley Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, Monday afternoon.
Riley’s recognition marks the second-straight weekly award from the league for Kansas (7-3). Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc was the conference’s defensive winner on Sept. 9. This is Riley’s first award of the 2013 season and the fourth of her career.
“We’re proud of her,” head coach Ray Bechard said. “She is always working hard back there and I know she’d be the first to say that she doesn’t get to those digs without her middles and teammates helping out. It’s a well-deserved honor for Bri.”
Per the usual, Riley led the Jayhawks in the digs column in all three matches last weekend, but went above and beyond at the 22nd annual Wisconsin tournament. She racked up 12 digs and a pair of assists in KU’s opening sweep against Milwaukee before really turning it on in the next two matches.
Facing an undefeated, top-25 Wisconsin team in the Badgers’ home opener, Riley and the Jayhawks found themselves down two sets to none. The senior libero led the Jayhawks from the back row, hustling for a then-season high 28 digs, while tying her career-high six assists. In the weekend finale, Riley outdid herself yet again. This time, she led KU to a five-set victory over Bowling Green with 31 digs – her first 30-plus dig effort of the season.
With 71 digs over the weekend - her 36th-straight double-digit dig matches - Riley moved within one of becoming eighth all-time on the Big 12 Conference's career digs list (1,705), currently held by former Nebraska standout Kayla Banwarth (1,706; 2007-10).
Kansas returns to Lawrence for a five-game homestand, beginning with the Kansas Invitational, Sept. 20-22.