Popovic heads up Big 12 volleyball awards, Four All Big-12 Cyclones


Marija Popovic digs the ball against TCU on Sept. 25.

Andrew Harrington

Iowa State volleyball earned plenty of postseason awards Tuesday.

Marija Popovic took home Big 12 Libero of the Year honors to cap off her stand-out 2021 season for the Cyclones.

Popovic topped the conference this season with 4.65 digs per set, finishing as one of three players in the conference to average over four. Not only did Popovic average a high total, but she also had over 20 digs in seven matches.

The Cyclones also joined Texas and Baylor as teams with three or more players on the All-Big 12 First Team. These three players were Popovic, Candelaria Herrera and Eleanor Holthaus.

The lone unanimous selection to the team was Herrera, a middle blocker for Iowa State. After leading the conference with 1.28 blocks per game, Herrera solidified herself as one of the best in the Big 12.

She also finished in the top-10 in the conference in hitting percentage on the season at .326.

Holthaus has been one of the more versatile players for Iowa State over the last few years. Leading the team in kills this season was not the only area of the game that she thrived in, recording seven double-doubles with digs.

This was Holthaus’ third All-Big 12 team selection, making her the fourth player in school history to accomplish the mark.

Wrapping up the awards for the Cyclones was an All-Big 12 Second Team selection for setter Jaden Newsome.

The transfer from Missouri finished fourth in the conference in assists per game but also contributed to serving, blocking and kills throughout the season.