Aug 16, 2013
Park Ridge, Ill. -
Defending Big Ten Champion Penn State was chosen as the conference favorite for the 2013 volleyball season as voted on by the Big Ten coaches, it was announced on Friday. Earning the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championship last season, the Nittany Lions top the poll for the eighth time in the last nine seasons.
Minnesota, who finished tied for second in the Big Ten in 2012, was voted to finish second this season. Michigan, who advanced to the NCAA semifinals last season, was selected to finish third this year, while Nebraska, which also finished the 2012 conference season tied for second, was tabbed fourth in the voting. Michigan State and Illinois round out the poll at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.
Additionally, conference coaches selected a Preseason All-Big Ten Team, which features three unanimous selections and seven returning members. Michigan State’s Lauren Wicinski, Minnesota’s Tori Dixon and Penn State’s Ariel Scott were unanimous selections. Dixon was honored for the third consecutive season, while Scott earned preseason recognition for the second year in a row. Minnesota’s Ashley Wittman, Northwestern’s Stephanie Holthus and Penn State’s Deja McClendon and Katie Slay are also three-time preseason All-Big Ten honorees, while Illinois’ Liz McMahon appears on the list for the second consecutive year.
The preseason poll and All-Big Ten Team is attached above.