TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona rising sophomore setter Penina Snuka has been named to the Pac-12 Volleyball All-Star Team, which will be traveling to China from June 17-27, the conference announced on Wednesday. In addition, Arizona assistant coach Charita Stubbs will serve as assistant coach for the all-star team.
The summer all-star team – made up of 12 Pac-12 student-athletes – will play seven matches over two weeks in Sanming and Beijing. The team will practice in Los Angeles before arriving in China on June 17 in Shanghai, spend the day sightseeing, then travel to Sanming. Pac-12 student-athletes will face off against the professional team from Fujian Province and the Chinese Junior National Team in Sanming from June 18-21, and play the professional team from Beijing and the Chinese Junior National Team again in Beijing from June 24-26. The team will return to the United States on June 27.
In addition to the matches, the student-athletes will enjoy cultural and sightseeing visits in China. Highlights include visits to the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Silk Market.
The all-star team was selected by the coaching staff and Pac-12 liaisons and includes three freshmen, six sophomores and three juniors. In total, 11 of the 12 universities in the Conference are represented. The team features one libero, two setters, three middle blockers and six outside hitters. Five of the student-athletes traveling to China were voted All-Pac-12 this year, as well as three who received AVCA All-America honors. Jim Moore of Oregon will serve as the head coach of the team.
The student-athletes on the tour represent Pac-12 teams that have distinguished the Conference with 14 NCAA titles, the most of any conference. In 2013, the Pac-12 saw a record nine teams in the NCAA Tournament with Washington advancing to the national semifinals, marking the fourth-consecutive year and 30th overall that a league team has played in the semifinal round. Over the course of the year, eight of the 12 league squads earned top-25 rankings at least once, while two different teams earned a No. 1 national ranking (USC and Washington).
Snuka was named to the honorable mention all-region team. She finished the season with a league-best 18 double-doubles, which also ranked among the most for a freshman nationally. In addition, she dished out 1,196 assists, which ranked sixth in the league. She also added 339 digs, 60 kills and 37 blocks in her inaugural season. She was also named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week on two separate occasions this past season and was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team.
Snuka will be the second Wildcat to participate in the all-star trip to China as teammate Madi Kingdon participated in the inaugural trip last season.
For the first time, fans can follow the Pac-12 globalization initiative on Chinese social media, including Weibo (http://www.weibo.com/pac12) – the Chinese equivalent of Twitter – and Renren (http://page.renren.com/pac12), the equivalent of Facebook. Daily updates will be posted on the accounts concerning the volleyball all-star team as well as upcoming Pac-12 events in China. For more information and updates in English on the trip, follow @pac12 on Twitter and www.pac-12.com.
The team is a part of the Pac-12’s Globalization Initiative, an unprecedented effort to promote goodwill and showcase the Conference and its member institutions in China through student-athlete exchanges and sport. Since launching the initiative in 2011, the Pac-12 has sent men’s (UCLA and ASU) and women’s basketball teams (Cal), last year’s women’s all-star volleyball team, and a delegation of men’s basketball coaches to China for competitive exhibitions and clinics. Later this summer, the Pac-12 will send an all-star men’s basketball team to play a series of games in China.
2013 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL ALL-STAR TEAM ROSTER
Name, School, Year *, Position
Emmy Allen, Washington State, Freshman, Outside Hitter
Amanda Benson, Oregon, Freshman, Libero
Samantha Bricio, USC, Sophomore, Outside Hitter
Madi Bugg, Stanford, Sophomore, Setter
Whitney Follette, Arizona State, Sophomore, Middle Blocker
Brittany Howard, Stanford, Sophomore, Outside Hitter
Karsta Lowe, UCLA, Junior, Outside Hitter
Chelsey Schofield, Utah, Junior, Outside Hitter
Lillian Schonewise, California, Sophomore, Middle Blocker
Taylor Simpson, Colorado, Junior, Outside Hitter
Penina Snuka, Arizona, Freshman, Setter
Melanie Wade, Washington, Sophomore, Middle Blocker
* - Year in school as of 2013-14 season
Head Coach: Jim Moore, Oregon
Assistant Coaches: Stacy Metro (Oregon), Charita Stubbs (Arizona)
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.