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Hunter Leads Huskers’ All-Big Ten Honorees | KTIC Radio

Hunter Leads Huskers’ All-Big Ten Honorees

Hunter Leads Huskers’ All-Big Ten Honorees
Courtesy/NU Media Relations

Nebraska volleyball senior setter Kelly Hunter was named the Big Ten Setter of the Year on Tuesday, highlighting the Big Ten champion Huskers’ three selections to the All-Big Ten team.

Hunter and junior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke were unanimous selections to the All-Big Ten team, while senior outside hitter Annika Albrecht was also voted to the 19-member team by the league’s head coaches. Lauren Stivrins and Jazz Sweet were named to the All-Big Ten Freshman team. Senior middle blocker Briana Holman received All-Big Ten honorable mention for the second time in her Husker career, and Sydney Townsend received her second career Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. 

Nebraska head coach John Cook was voted the Big Ten Coach of the Year by the coaches for the second straight year, marking his seventh career conference coach-of-the-year honor. Cook guided the Huskers to a second straight league title with seven freshmen on the roster and while having to replace three AVCA All-Americans from last year’s Big Ten champion and final four team. 

Hunter, a native of Papillion, Nebraska, has set NU to an NCAA title and two Big Ten titles over the last three seasons. After missing the first two matches of the 2017 season with an injury, Hunter came back to lead the Huskers to 26 wins in the final 28 regular-season matches with 10.74 assists and 2.62 digs per set. Hunter has a team-high 12 double-doubles this season and has climbed to third in career assists at NU with 3,891. An AVCA second-team All-American in 2016, Hunter added two Big Ten Setter of the Week awards this season to bring her career total to eight. A three-year team captain, Hunter is the Huskers’ first-ever Big Ten Setter of the Year since the award was established in 2012. She was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and a Senior CLASS Award candidate earlier this season. 

“I am extremely honored to be the Big Ten Setter of the Year in a conference that has some amazing setters,” Hunter said. “I feel like that award could have gone to a handful of players, so I am humbled that the coaches hold me in that regard. I am so thankful that I get to play with so many talented hitters that make my job easier every day. Coach Cook has been such a great mentor for me throughout my career, and I also owe a thank you to the all the assistants who have helped me throughout my Husker career.”

Foecke earned her first-career All-Big Ten selection after receiving honorable mention last year. The West Point, Iowa native has produced all over the court for the Huskers in her first season as a full-time six-rotation player. Foecke leads NU in kills with 3.50 per set and adds 2.23 digs per set. She has notched seven double-doubles and leads the team in service aces with 33. Foecke was the Big Ten Player of the Week on Oct. 30 and, along with Hunter, was one of 10 Big Ten players to earn a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten team. Foecke has sparked Nebraska’s current 13-match win streak, posting double-digit kills in 10 of the 13 wins and averaging 4.02 kills per set on .391 hitting. 

Albrecht, a Husker co-captain from North Aurora, Illinois, has had a breakout season as a six-rotation outside hitter to earn her first All-Big Ten honor. Albrecht is one of the Huskers’ most versatile weapons with 2.98 kills and 2.77 digs per set along with 28 service aces. In her Husker career, she ranks seventh in school history with 133 career aces. Albrecht has played in every set since stepping foot on the Husker campus in 2014, a total of 467 entering this week’s NCAA Tournament. Albrecht was the AVCA Player of the Week, espnW Player of the Week and Big Ten Player of the Week on Sept. 26 after a career-high 19 kills in a sweep at Penn State. 

Holman, a middle blocker from DeSoto, Texas, received honorable mention after leading the Huskers in the middle with 2.42 kills and a team-high 1.12 blocks per set with a team-best .354 hitting percentage. A first-team AVCA All-American in 2014 at LSU, Holman was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 5 and the MVP of the Ameritas Players Challenge. 

Stivrins earned All-Freshman team accolades as a redshirt freshman after posting 2.10 kills and 0.98 blocks per set in her first year on the court. She was joined by Sweet, a true freshman who came in and immediately made an impact with 2.21 kills per set for the Big Red. 

Townsend received Nebraska’s Sportsmanship Award for the second time in three years. The senior defensive specialist from Lincoln has put together an impressive list of accomplishments in her Husker career, including the Elite 90 Award, CoSIDA Academic All-District honors and two Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honors. 

In his 18th season as head coach at Nebraska, Cook led the Huskers to their third Big Ten title and second in a row. Cook is a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, also winning the award in 1997 at Wisconsin, and he was a four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year before the Huskers’ move to the Big Ten in 2011. His Husker teams have won 12 conference titles in his 18 seasons, and he holds the nation’s best winning percentage (.884) since 2000. 

ALL-BIG TEN
Ali Bastianelli, Jr., MB, ILL
Jordyn Poulter, Jr., S, ILL
Carly Skjodt, Jr., OH, MICH
AUTUMN BAILEY, Sr., OH, MSU
Alyssa Garvelink, Sr., MB, MSU
Alexis Hart, So., OH, MINN
STEPHANIE SAMEDY, Fr., OPP, MINN
SAMANTHA SELIGER-SWENSON, Jr., S, MINN
Annika Albrecht, Sr., OH, NEB
MIKAELA FOECKE, Jr., OH, NEB
KELLY HUNTER, Sr., S, NEB
Symone Abbott, Sr., OH, NU
SIMONE LEE, Sr., OH, PSU
HALEIGH WASHINGTON, Sr., MB, PSU
Kendall White, So., L, PSU
SHERRIDAN ATKINSON, Jr., OPP, PUR
DANIELLE CUTTINO, Sr., OH, PUR
DANA RETTKE, Fr., MB, WIS
Tionna Williams, Jr., MB, WIS

Unanimous selections in CAPS

HONORABLE MENTION
Jess Janota, Sr., MB, IOWA
Taylor Louis, Jr., OH, IOWA
Annika Olsen, Sr., L, IOWA
Hailey Murray, Sr., MB, MD
Claire Kieffer-Wright, Sr., MB, MICH
Rachel Minarick, Sr., S, MSU
Holly Toliver, Sr., OPP, MSU
Briana Holman, Sr., MB, NEB
Ashley Wenz, Sr., OH, OSU
Heidi Thelen, Sr., RS, PSU

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Megan Cooney, OH, ILL
STEPHANIE SAMEDY, OPP, MINN
Jazz Sweet, OH, NEB
Lauren Stivrins, MB, NEB
Nia Robinson, OH, NU
Sydney Hilley, S, WIS
DANA RETTKE, MB, WIS

Unanimous selections in CAPS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Simone Lee, PSU

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Haleigh Washington, PSU

SETTER OF THE YEAR
Kelly Hunter, NEB 

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Dana Rettke, WIS 

COACH OF THE YEAR (COACHES)
John Cook, NEB 

COACH OF THE YEAR (MEDIA)
Russ Rose, PSU

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
Beth Prince, ILL
Jessica Admire, IND
Annika Olsen, IOWA
Liz Twilley, MD
Maddy Abbott, MICH
Abby Monson, MSU
Molly Lohman, MINN
Sydney Townsend, NEB
Gabrielle Hazen, NU
Kalisha Goree, OSU
Carissa Damler, PUR
Lainy Pierce, PSU
Karysa Swackenberg, RU
Lauryn Gillis, WIS

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