Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Picked Third, Two Huskers Named All-Big Ten in Preseason Coaches Poll

January 20, 2021

With the volleyball season set to begin this weekend, the Big Ten released its preseason coaches poll and all-conference team on Wednesday.

The Huskers were tabbed to finish third while two Huskers were named to the preseason All-Big Ten team.

Nebraska went 28-5 last season including 17-3 in Big Ten play, tied for second in the league. The Huskers return all six starters plus their libero and added a few newcomers — two freshmen and a transfer — that could factor into the rotation.

Senior middle blocker Lauren Stivrins and senior outside hitter Lexi Sun were named to the preseason-All Big Ten team after earning first-team all-conference honors in 2019. Stivrins is a two-time All-American and also earned All-Big Ten honors in 2018. She averaged 2.55 kills per set a team-best .374 hitting percentage and 1.07 blocks per set last season. In addition to her Big Ten recognition, Sun was also tabbed as a third-team All-American after averaging 3.57 kills and 2.45 digs per set in 2019.

Reigning Big Ten champion and 2019 national runner-up Wisconsin was unanimously picked to repeat after returning five starters from last year’s team that went 18-2 in league play.

The coaches picked Minnesota (27-6, 17-3 Big Ten) to finish second. The Gophers return four starters plus their libero and Coach Hugh McCutcheon added the second-ranked recruiting class in the country featuring two of the top three recruits in the 2020 class. Nebraska beat Minnesota in five sets in their only meeting last season. The Gophers advanced to the Final Four before falling to eventual champion Stanford.

Here is the full poll.

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Minnesota
  3. Nebraska
  4. Penn State
  5. Purdue
  6. Michigan
  7. Ohio State
  8. Illinois
  9. Michigan State
  10. Northwestern
  11. Indiana
  12. Maryland
  13. Iowa
  14. Rutgers

The preseason AVCA Coaches Poll tabbed Nebraska at No. 5 nationally while Minnesota was seventh.

Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke and Sydney Hilley were the only two unanimous selections for the All-Big Ten team. Penn State led all teams with three selections. The full preseason team is below.

  • Erika Pritchard, Sr., OH, Maryland
  • Paige Jones, Jr., OH, Michigan
  • Regan Pittman, Sr., MB, Minnesota
  • Stephanie Samedy, Sr., OPP, Minnesota
  • Lauren Stivrins, Sr., MB, Nebraska
  • Lexi Sun, Sr., OH, Nebraska
  • Serena Gray, Jr., M, Penn State
  • Kaitlyn Hord, Jr., M, Penn State
  • Jonni Parker. Jr., OH, Penn State
  • Grace Cleveland, Jr., OPP/M, Purdue
  • Caitlyn Newton, Sr., OH, Purdue
  • Molly Haggerty, Sr., OH, Wisconsin
  • Sydney Hilley, Sr., S, Wisconsin
  • Dana Rettke, Sr., MB, Wisconsin
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