Irbe Lazda (14) Middle Blocker/Outside Hitter | Photo courtesy UTEP
Irbe Lazda was awarded Conference USA Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday afternoon.
“Really excited that the conference has recognized Irbe’s (Lazda) accomplishments this past week,” UTEP Head Coach Ben Wallis said. “She is a joy to coach, a quiet giant and she’s only going to get better for us. She is really starting to learn how to score. Her confidence is growing for us in that area. The defensive stuff is the hardest part for middle blockers at the college volleyball level, but she is going to continue to get better at that as the season progresses.”
This is the first ever C-USA Freshman of the week honor in program history.
Lazda had a historic performance in a comeback victory over Texas A&M-CC with 16 kills on a .700 hitting percentage. That hitting percentage ranks second in the UTEP record books for a five-set match.
Against Coppin State, the Latvian was dominant at the net with six blocks in a clean sweep of the Eagles. She also posted six blocks in the five-set thriller versus Pacific.
Lazda finished the weekend with 33 kills, 19 blocks and seven service aces.
This is not only the first C-USA Freshman of the Week in school history, but also the first player of the week honor since 2016 (Kylie Baumgartner – 11/7/16) for any UTEP volleyball player.