Senior setter Kelly Hunter headlines a list of three Huskers honored as All-Americans by the AVCA on Wednesday.
After being named Honorable Mention in 2015 and Second Team last season, Hunter was chosen as a First-Team All-American this season. Senior outside hitter Annika Albrecht and junior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke were both named to the Second Team.
Senior middle blocker Briana Holman, who received First-Team All-America recognition as a sophomore at LSU, made the honorable mention list for the third time in her career.
Hunter led the Huskers to their third straight National Semifinal and a 30-2 record this season after missing the first two matches (losses to Oregon and Florida) with an injury. She averaged 10.84 assists and a career-high 2.67 digs per set while serving up 24 aces. She recorded a team-high 15 double-doubles this season.
Albrecht, a co-captain this season along with Hunter, was the breakout story of the season for the Huskers and perhaps the Big Ten. The Husker legacy from North Aurora, Illinois, spent her first three seasons as more of a defensive specialist than an outside hitter as she totaled just 122 kills on .114 hitting through her junior season.
Coach John Cook deployed her as a six-rotation hitter this season and it looked like more of the same through her first five matches as she managed just a .085 hitting percentage. However, she broke out with 20 kills and just two errors in a pair of matches against UCLA and never looked back. Albrecht averaged 3.08 kills and 2.74 digs per set while hitting .266. She served 32 aces while recording a team-best .960 serving percentage. She notched eight double-doubles.
After earning honorable mention plaudits her first two seasons, Foecke emerged as Nebraska’s top hitting option after the departure of Kadie Rolfzen and Cook transitioned her into playing six rotation this season. She led the Huskers with 3.47 kills per set on .293 hitting and led the Huskers with 37 aces. She also averaged 2.26 digs per set and recorded seven double-doubles. Foecke elevated her play in conference, bumping up her numbers to 3.61 kills per set and .326 hitting.
Holman averaged 2.42 kills and 1.17 blocks per set while hitting .355 this season, which was on par with her junior year numbers (2.42 kills and 1.18 blocks per set on .350 hitting) that earned her an honorable mention nod.
Hunter, Albrecht and Foecke bump Nebraska’s all-time count up to 43 AVCA All-America athletes and 87 total awards; both figures are the most of any program all-time. Nebraska, with 45 First-Team All-Americans, ranks second behind Stanford in first-team selections.
Hunter was named AVCA North Region Player of the Year and was joined on the All-North Region team by Albrecht, Foecke and Holman on Dec. 5, making them eligible for All-America honors.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.