Nebraska senior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke has been chosen as one of eight finalists for the prestigious AAU James E. Sullivan Award, the Amateur Athletic Union announced on Monday.
The other finalists are UCLA’s Rachel Garcia (softball), Texas’ Townley Haas (swimming), LSU’s Aleia Hobbs (track and field), Morgan Hurd (USA Gymnastics), North Carolina’s Luke Maye (basketball), Central Florida’s McKenzie Milton (football) and Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer (volleyball).
The AAU Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930 to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Fan voting for the award is open to the public and will run through Friday. Fans can vote once per day and social media votes using #VoteForMikaela and #AAUSullivanAward on Twitter will also be counted.
Foecke was also a finalist for the award in 2016 and a Husker has been named a finalist in four of the past five years. Foecke will attend the award ceremony in New York City on April 16 at the New York Athletic Club.
"I am so proud to be able to represent Nebraska volleyball at the AAU Sullivan Award ceremony for a second time," Foecke said in a release. "Once again, it is so humbling to be included in a group of such amazing athletes from around the country. This wouldn't be possible without the support from my family, teammates, coaches, and of course, Husker Nation. I want to thank everyone for voting for me and supporting me, and thank you to the AAU Sullivan Award committee for the honor of being recognized as a finalist for the award."
Foecke wrapped up a stellar four-year career with the Huskers this season, guiding the Huskers to a 29-7 record and a national runner-up finish. She was named an AVCA First-Team All-American after leading the Huskers with 3.86 kills and 2.85 digs per set with 46 service aces. Foecke ended her career third in program history with 1,684 career kills and the Huskers went 21-2 in the NCAA Tournament with two national championships with her in the lineup. She was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection and won the Senior CLASS Award for volleyball, given annually to the most outstanding senior Division I student-athlete with notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.
Foecke served as a team captain as a senior and was the volleyball team’s representative on the Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She is a three-time Tom Osborne Citizenship Team member and a Diversity & Inclusion Summit leader and has helped the volleyball program earn the Nebraska's Life Skills Award through her work with events and organizations such as One Shirt One Body, Uplifting Athletes, People's City Mission, Husker Heroes, Make-a-Wish and more.
Jacob Padilla has been writing for Hail Varsity since 2015. He covers football, volleyball men’s basketball and prep sports. He also co-hosts the Nebraska Preps Postgame and Nebraska Shootaround podcasts for the Hurrdat Media and Hail Varsity podcast networks. 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.