Big Ten Announces 2011 Postseason Volleyball Honors
Nov. 29, 2011
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The Big Ten announced its postseason volleyball awards on Tuesday, with student-athletes from two schools earning recognition following the conclusion of the 2011 regular season. Purdue's Ariel Turner has been named the Big Ten Player of the Year by a vote of the conference's coaches, while Boilermaker head coach Dave Shondell has been tabbed Coach of the Year by Big Ten coaches and media. Penn State's Katie Slay and Micha Hancock have also earned individual honors, as Slay has been selected as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Hancock takes the Freshman of the Year award.
Turner led the Big Ten in kills (4.92) and points per set (5.54) through the regular season, finishing in the nation's top five in both categories. The Boilermaker outside hitter has also racked up 15 double-doubles this season and averages 2.76 digs for the year. Turner received five Big Ten Player of the Week awards, tying the conference's single-season record. She becomes the second Purdue player to win the award and first since 1985.
Slay averaged 1.44 blocks per set this season to lead all Big Ten players, ranking 10th nationally en route to being tabbed the top defensive player in the conference. The Nittany Lion sophomore is the second Penn State player to earn the accolade and first since 2005.
Hancock is the ninth Nittany Lion to be named Freshman of the Year in the past 10 seasons and the 10th Penn State player all-time to earn the award. The setter averaged 10.37 assists per set and racked up 87 service aces during the regular season, good for the seventh-highest total in Big Ten history. She also closed the season by collecting three straight Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors.
Shondell earns top billing among the conference's coaches after guiding Purdue to a 27-4 overall record and a 16-4 mark in Big Ten play en route to a tie for second place in the conference standings. The Boilermakers' second-place finish is their best since 1987, while the team's 16 Big Ten wins mark the most for a Purdue team since 1985. Shondell's award from the coaches marks the first in Purdue history, while his honor from the media is the school's third all-time and first since 1987.
Fifteen Big Ten players were tabbed All-Big Ten by the conference's coaches, with seven making the team via a unanimous vote. Joining Turner as unanimous All-Big Ten choices are Illinois' Colleen Ward, Michigan State's Jenilee Rathje, Minnesota's Ashley Wittman, Nebraska's Gina Mancuso, Penn State's Ariel Scott and Purdue's Tiffany Fisher. Rounding out the All-Conference Team are Illinois' Michelle Bartsch, Minnesota's Tori Dixon, Nebraska's Lauren Cook and Hannah Werth, Northwestern's Stephanie Holthus, Ohio State's Mari Hole and Penn State's Slay and Deja McClendon.
Hancock was unanimously voted to the All-Freshman Team, while Illinois' Liz McMahon, Michigan's Lexi Dannemiller, Northwestern's Katie Dutchman, Purdue's Kierra Jones and Wisconsin's Ellen Chapman and Courtney Thomas also appeared on the seven-player team.
The Big Ten also recognized 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The complete list of All-Big Ten honorees, individual award winners and Sportsmanship Award Honorees can be found below.
* Additional honorees due to a tie
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
COACH OF THE YEAR (COACHES AND MEDIA)
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES