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Volleyball senior Nicholson earns defensive award

For the first time ever, an Arizona student-athlete has been awarded with a Defensive Player of the Week award.

Senior libero Candace Nicholson recorded a career-high 36 digs during her last match against ASU in McKale Center, and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.

Nicholson was one dig shy from the school’s all-time record for a single match and is tied for the most in the conference this season.

Nicholson helped the team to its 20th victory of the season. Arizona had not won 20 matches since 2010.

The UA recorded 103 digs as a team against ASU, the seventh most in history for a single match.

Nicholson is also part of the Arizona record books, having the most single-season and career digs ever after breaking Terry Lauchner’s 1,297 digs record, accumulating 1,620 digs so far.

Her 490 single-season digs have passed Tiffany Owens’ record of 414 in 2010.

Her 4.45 digs per set average will also be part of the school record for a single-season.

Nicholson and the team will be part of the NCAA tournament this year for the 25th time since 1981.

They will travel to San Diego to face New Mexico State (22-10) on Friday.