The Big Ten released its preseason volleyball honors as voted on by the league’s coaches on Tuesday afternoon and reigning conference champion Nebraska was tabbed to finish second behind Penn State.
In the preseason AVCA poll, the Huskers were picked fifth, one spot ahead of Penn State and one spot behind Wisconsin, who was third in the Big Ten vote.
The Huskers went 31-3 overall and 18-2 in Big Ten play last season, good enough to claim the conference title. The huskers made it to the Final Four before losing to national runner-up Texas.
Penn State finished 24-10 last season and landed three players on the preseason all-conference team in Haleigh Washington, Simone Lee and Ali Frantti.
Two Huskers were picked to the all-conference team: senior setter Kelly Hunter and junior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke.
Hunter was named to the All-Big Ten first team last season after guiding the Huskers to the conference title while averaging 11.24 assists per set, good for third in the league and second among returners. She also contributed 2.2 digs per set, hit .300 and served up 26 aces. Hunter, a two-time team captain, was named to the AVCA All-America second team.
Foecke was a unanimous choice after earning an All-Big Ten honorable mention nod as a sophomore. She averaged 2.93 kills per set while hitting 3.04 and dished out 24 service aces. As a freshman, Foecke was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player as she helped lead the Huskers to the national championship.
The Huskers will play their annual Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday at the Devaney Center before hitting the road to open the season in Gainesville, Florida, at the VERT Challenge.
2017 BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL
1. Penn State
4. Michigan State
8. Ohio State
2017 PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN VOLLEYBALL TEAM
Ali Bastianelli, Illinois, Jr., MB
Jordyn Poulter, Illinois, Jr., S
Claire Kieffer-Wright, Michigan, Sr., MB
Alyssa Garvelink, Michigan State, Sr., MB
Alexis Hart, Minnesota, So., OH
Molly Lohman, Minnesota, Sr., MB
*Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Minnesota, Jr., S
*Mikaela Foecke, Nebraska. Jr., OH
Kelly Hunter, Nebraska, Sr., S
Ali Frantti, Penn State, Sr., OH
Simone Lee, Penn State, Sr., OH
Haleigh Washington, Penn State, Sr., MB
Danielle Cuttino, Purdue, Sr., OH
Molly Haggerty, Wisconsin, So., OH
Tionna Williams, Wisconsin, Jr., MB
* – unanimous selection
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.