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Eight Big Ten volleyball teams are ranked or receiving votes in the final AVCA Division I Coaches poll of the 2013 season, which was released on Monday. The conference boasts the nation's top two teams and five squads in the top 10. NCAA and Big Ten Champion Penn State leads the way at No. 1 and national runner-up Wisconsin is ranked No. 2. Nebraska checks in at No. 7, followed by No. 8 Purdue, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 14 Michigan State and No. 16 Illinois. Michigan was receiving votes.

For the full poll, click here.

Nebraska's Robinson Named Nominee for Honda Sports Award

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Nebraska women's volleyball player Kelsey Robinson was named a nominee for the Honda Sports Award for Volleyball, as announced by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today. The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies "the best of the best in collegiate athletics". The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). The Honda Sports award winner for volleyball will be announced in the new year after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.

A native of Bartlett, Ill., Robinson earned first-team AVCA All-American honors this season after having been recognized by the AVCA for the past two years. She was named the 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year and earned All-Big Ten first-team honors. She averaged 4.45 kills and 3.33 digs per set while posting 19 double-doubles. The outside hitter transferred to Nebraska from Tennessee where she was the 2011 SEC Player of the Year and a two-time first-team All-SEC member.

CWSA Release
Nebraska Release

Saturday's Result

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NCAA Championship Final - Seattle, Wash.
#2 PENN STATE def. #12 WISCONSIN, 3-1

Saturday's Schedule

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NCAA Championship Final - Seattle, Wash.
#2 PENN STATE vs. #12 WISCONSIN - 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

PSU's Harding Earns NCAA Elite 89 Award

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Penn State senior Maggie Harding has been selected as the recipient of the Elite 89 award for the 2013 NCAA DI Women's Volleyball Championship. Harding has now earned the prestigious honor for the second time in her career, having won the award in 2012. Harding is presently majoring in food science and has maintained an unblemished 4.0 grade-point average. She was presented with the award during the NCAA Championship banquet Wednesday evening in Seattle, Wash. After redshirting her freshman year, Harding has emerged as a leader on the team, being named one of the team captains for the 2013 season. Throughout her career, the defensive specialist has garnered three Academic All-Big Ten selections, while also earning the Big Ten Sportsmanship award for women's volleyball in 2011 and 2013.

The Elite 89 award was founded by the NCAA and recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented annually to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating in the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships. Eligible student-athletes are sophomore or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed. For more on the Elite 89 award, click here.

Penn State Release

Penn State Head Volleyball Coach Russ Rose was tabbed the AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year, it was announced on Thursday. The 35th year head coach of the Nittany Lions has once again proved in 2013 why he is one of the best to ever coach the game. Never having a season with fewer than 22 victories, Rose is just the third active coach in Division I to record 1,000 career wins.

Penn State had high expectations in 2013 and have not disappointed.  Rose collected his 16th Big Ten Championship and 14th Big Ten Coach of the Year honor leading his squad to a 28-2 regular-season and 19-1 conference record. The Nittany Lions boast five players on the AVCA All-Northeast Region team in Nia Grant, Micha Hancock, Deja McClendon, Ariel Scott and Katie Slay, with Rose earning AVCA Region Coach of the Year.

It wasn't just the fact they won in what many consider one of the most difficult conferences in the country, it was how they won it.  In their 19 Big Ten victories (57 sets won), they dropped just a total of 11 sets. As a team, Penn State leads the nation with 3.10 blocks per set and is third in team hitting percentage (.314) and win percentage (93.8%).

Rose is now a five-time AVCA National Coach of the Year after winning in 1990, 1997, 2007 and 2008.

AVCA Release
Penn State Release

Thursday's Results

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NCAA Championship Semifinals - Seattle, Wash.
#12 WISCONSIN def. #1 Texas, 3-1

Penn State's Scott Named Senior CLASS Award Winner

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Penn State right side hitter, Ariel Scott has been selected as the 2013 Senior CLASS Award winner in NCAA Division I volleyball. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I volleyball coaches, national volleyball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, community, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

A public relations major with minors in business and liberal arts, Scott has maintained a 3.8 grade point average in her major. She is an active member of the Penn State chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors while also being selected as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. Since her freshman year, Scott has volunteered regularly with the Special Olympics, working to teach participants basic volleyball skills. She also organizes outreach opportunities for Special Olympians through the Penn State women's volleyball program. Scott is a three-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American and All-Big Ten honoree. Heading into the post-season, she ranked second on the team in kills and blocks. The Nittany Lions are the second-ranked team in the country and carry a 32-2 overall record entering tonight's NCAA semifinal match against Washington.

Two other Big Ten student-athletes earned Senior Class Award recognition, as Michigan's Jennifer Cross and Michigan State's Lauren Wicinski were named to the award's second team.

For the complete release, click here.

Thursday's Schedule

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NCAA Championship Semifinals - Seattle, Wash.
#1 Texas vs. #12 WISCONSIN - 7:30 p.m.
#2 PENN STATE vs. #3 WASHINGTON - 9:30 p.m.

All times are ET
Both matches can be seen on ESPN2

Thirteen Volleyball Players Tabbed AVCA All-America

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Thirteen Big Ten volleyball players were selected as AVCA Division I All-Americans, the most of any conference, with four players earning first-team status. Minnesota's Tori Dixon, Nebraska's Kelsey Robinson, and Penn State's Micha Hancock and Ariel Scott earned first-team honors, while Michigan State's Lauren Wicinski, Minnesota's Ashley Wittman, Penn State's Deja McClendon and Wisconsin's Lauren Carlini were named to the second team. Illinois' Jocelynn Birks, Michigan State's Kori Moster, Nebraska's Kadie Rolfzen, Penn State's Katie Slay and Purdue's Val Nichol earned third-team honors. Thirteen others received honorable mention recognition -- Illinois' Jennifer Beltran, Michigan's Jennifer Cross, Lexi Dannemiller and Molly Toon, Michigan State's Alexis Mathews, Minnesota's Adrianna Nora, Nebraska's Meghan Haggerty and Mary Pollmiller, Northwestern's Stephanie Holthus, Ohio State's Kaitlyn Leary, Penn State's Nia Grant, Purdue's KiKi Jones and Wisconsin's Ellen Chapman.

Eight of the 13 selected to the All-America teams were repeat honorees, including McClendon, who is the only player in the 2013 class to be named a four-time All-American. Scott, Slay and Wicinski were all three-time honorees, while Dixon, Hancock, Robinson and Wittman were honored for the second time. Two freshman were selected to All-America teams in Rolfzen and Carlini.

As a team, the Nittany Lions had four players named to All-America teams, which was tied for the most along all schools nationally.

For the complete list of honorees, click here.

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