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Five Huskers Honored by Big Ten
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Five Huskers Honored by Big Ten

December 04, 2019

Five Huskers received recognition from the Big Ten on Wednesday afternoon when the conference released its postseason honors.

Junior middle blocker Lauren Stivrins (a unanimous selection), junior outside hitter Lexi Sun and sophomore setter Nicklin Hames were named to the All-Big Ten First Team. Freshman outside hitter Madi Kubik made the second team while Kubik and libero Kenzie Knuckles both made the All-Freshman Team. Kubik was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

The Huskers went 25-4 this season and 17-3 in the Big Ten, tying for second place with Penn State and Minnesota. Wisconsin won the conference with an 18-2 league record.

Stivrins was third in the conference in hitting percentage in Big Ten play at .415, averaging 2.71 kills and .097 blocks per set. She had 11 matches with double-digit kills this season, 10 of which were against Big Ten competition. She posted 17 kills on .394 hitting at Indiana and then followed that up with a season-high 18 kills on .361 hitting at Purdue. She posted a season-high eight blocks in five sets against San Diego and then matched it in three sets against Northwestern.

Sun made a big leap from her sophomore season, stepping up in the absence of Mikaela Foecke. She averaged 3.53 kills (eighth in the conference) and 2.44 digs per set while hitting .278 hitting in Big Ten play. Sun reached double-digit kills in 24 of her 29 matches and had nine double-doubles, seven of which were in league play. She posted a season-high 23 kills and chipped in 14 digs against Loyola Marymount.

Hames orchestrated the second-best offense by hitting percentage in Big Ten play, guiding the Huskers to .284 hitting. Nebraska was second in assists (13.18 per set) and third in kills (14.22 per set). Hames averaged 11.37 assists  (third in the conference) and 2.73 digs per set in Big Ten play and she was second on the team in aces with 21 for the season. She led the Huskers with 15-double-doubles including a 54-assist, 22-dig performance in a five-set win against Penn State.

Kubik got off to a slow start attacking in the nonconference, averaging 2.21 kills per set on .158 hitting. She stepped up her play in Big Ten significantly, averaging 2.96 kills per set on .241 hitting overall, and in the second half of the conference schedule she was even better at 3.25 kills per set on .266 hitting. Defensively, Kubik played all six rotations from the start and averaged 2.51 digs per set. She posted a season-high 22 kills in a four-set win against Purdue and also had 20 kills and 17 digs in a five-set win at Minnesota. Kubik is Nebraska’s first freshman of the year honoree since Hannah Werth won the award in 2009 in the Big 12.

Knuckles stepped in for the departed Kenzie Maloney as a freshman and guided the Huskers to a .156 opponent hitting percentage in Big Ten play, tops in the conference by 20 points. She averaged 3.58 digs per set and she also served up 17 of her 20 aces in Big Ten play, tying Sun for team-high honors in the conference. She reached double figures in digs in 23 of her 28 matches. She reached the 20-dig mark five times including a season-high 24 against Penn State.

Sophomore opposite hitter Anezka Szabo was Nebraska’s Sportsmanship Award honoree.

2019 Big Ten Volleyball All-Big Ten Honorees

First Team

  • Jacqueline Quade, Sr., Illinois
  • Katie Myers, So., Maryland
  • Paige Jones, So., Michigan*
  • Mackenzi Welsh, Sr., Michigan
  • CC McGraw, So., Minnesota
  • Regan Pittman, Jr., Minnesota*
  • Stephanie Samedy, Jr., Minnesota
  • Nicklin Hames, So., Nebraska
  • Lauren Stivrins, Jr., Nebraska*
  • Lexi Sun, Jr., Nebraska
  • Kaitlyn Hord, So., Penn State*
  • Jonni Parker, So., Penn State*
  • Kendall White, Sr., Penn State*
  • Grace Cleveland, So., Purdue*
  • Blake Mohler, Sr., Purdue
  • Sydney Hilley, Jr., Wisconsin*
  • Grace Loberg, Jr., Wisconsin
  • Dana Rettke, Jr., Wisconsin*

* denotes unanimous selection

Second Team

  • Ashlyn Fleming, Sr., Illinois
  • Breana Edwards, So., Indiana
  • Cori Crocker, Sr., Michigan
  • Alexis Hart, Sr., Minnesota
  • Taylor Morgan, Sr., Minnesota
  • Madi Kubik, Fr., Nebraska
  • Temi Thomas-Ailara, Fr., Northwestern
  • Kylie Murr, Fr., Ohio State
  • Gabby Blossom, So., Penn State
  • Caitlyn Newton, Jr., Purdue
  • Madison Duello, Sr., Wisconsin
  • Molly Haggerty, Jr., Wisconsin
  • Danielle Hart, So., Wisconsin

All-Freshman Team

  • Diana Brown, Illinois
  • May Pertofsky, Michigan
  • Jessica Robinson, Michigan
  • Kenzie Knuckles, Nebraska
  • Madi Kubik, Nebraska
  • Temi Thomas-Ailara, Northwestern
  • Jenaisya Moore, Ohio State
  • Kylie Murr, Ohio State

Player of the Year: Dana Rettke, Jr., Wisconsin

Defensive Player of the Year: Kendall White, Sr., Penn State

Setter of the Year: Sydney Hilley, Jr., Wisconsin

Freshman of the Year: Madi Kubik, Nebraska

Coach of the Year (Coaches): Russ Rose, Penn State

Coach of the Year (Media): Kelly Sheffield, Wisconsin

Sportsmanship Honorees

  • Beth Prince, Sr., OH, Illinois
  • Meaghan Koors, Sr., DS, Indiana
  • Brie Orr, Jr., S, Iowa
  • Taylor Smith, Sr., S, Maryland
  • Sydney Wetterstrom, Sr., OH, Michigan
  • Sam McLean, Sr., DS/L, Michigan State
  • Lauren Litzau, Sr., DS/L, Minnesota
  • Anezka Szabo, So., OH, Nebraska
  • Emily Ehman, Sr., L, Northwestern
  • Bia Rodrigues-Franklin, Sr., OH, Ohio State
  • Emily Sciorra, Sr., DS, Penn State
  • Jael Johnson, So., MB, Purdue
  • Jasmine Stackhouse, Sr., MB, Rutgers
  • M.E. Dodge, Sr., DS/L, Wisconsin
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