NCAA Volleyball Central - National Championship
Dec. 11, 2017



• Two Big Ten volleyball programs remain on the hunt for a national championship. Top-seeded Penn State and fifth-seeded Nebraska will compete in the Final Four on Thursday. The Nittany Lions will take on the Huskers at 7 p.m. ET at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The winner will advance to the national championship match on Saturday and face the victor of the Florida-Stanford match.

• Nebraska and Penn State’s Final Four berths mark the 15th-straight year that the Big Ten has had at least one team in the national semifinals. Since 1981, at least one conference team has reached the national semifinals 19 times and two teams have appeared a total of 10 times.

• Of the Big Ten programs still alive in the NCAA Tournament, Nebraska and Penn State have combined to win eight of the last 11 NCAA Championships with the Nittany Lions collecting six (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014) and the Huskers winning twice (2006, 2015). Overall, Nebraska has made 14 Final Four appearances, while Penn State has made 13.

• Four Big Ten volleyball standouts were named to 2017 Academic All-America Division I Volleyball Teams as announced by CoSIDA: Iowa’s Annika Olsen, Michigan State’s Rachel Minarick and Purdue’s Ashley Evans were first-team selections, while Penn State’s Haleigh Washington was a second-team honoree. Evans and Washington each earn a spot on one of the three teams for the third time in their careers, while Olsen and Minarick claim the honor for the first time.

• The Huskers’ Mikaela Foecke was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Kentucky Regional after posting 18 kills and eight digs against Kentucky. Kelly Hunter and Annika Albrecht were also named to the Regional All-Tournament team.

• The Nittany Lions’ Simone Lee was named the Most Outstanding Player of the University Park Regional, finishing the evening with a double-double, leading the team with 12 kills, adding 10 digs, and three blocks. Ali Frantti and Haleigh Washington also earned spots on the University Park Regional All-Tournament team.

• Nebraska’s Kelly Hunter had 46 assists against Kentucky, and with her fifth assist in set one she reached 4,000 career assists at Nebraska. She ranks second in school history behind Fiona Nepo (4,824) with 4,041 career assists.

• Thirty-two Big Ten students earned American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region honors. Of those 32, a Big Ten record-setting 25 were first-team selections. In addition, Minnesota’s Stephanie Samedy and Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke garnered AVCA North and Northeast Region Freshman of the Year honors, respectively. Nebraska’s Kelly Hunter and Penn State’s Simone Lee were named AVCA North and Northeast Region Player of the Year, respectively, while Penn State head coach Russ Rose was named the AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year.

• The Big Ten announced its individual award winners, with standouts from Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin earning recognition. The Nittany Lions’ Simone Lee was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, Penn State’s Haleigh Washington was tabbed the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, while Nebraska’s Kelly Hunter was named Setter of the Year. Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, while Nebraska head coach John Cook and Penn State head coach Russ Rose were named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the conference’s coaches and media contingent, respectively.

• Three active Big Ten coaches have recorded at least 600 career wins: Penn State’s Russ Rose (1,246), Nebraska’s John Cook (659) and Michigan State’s Cathy George (621). Rose currently ranks second among active Division I coaches in career victories, while Cook and George rank 15th and 19th, respectively. Michigan’s Mark Rosen continues to close in on the milestone, amassing 593 career victories so far and checking in at No. 22.

• Nine Big Ten volleyball standouts were named to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District Volleyball Team as announced by CoSIDA: Iowa’s Annika Olsen, Michigan’s Jenna Lerg and Carly Skjodt, Michigan State’s Alyssa Garvelink and Rachel Minarick, Nebraska’s Kelly Hunter and Sydney Townsend, Penn State’s Haleigh Washington and Purdue’s Ashley Evans.

• The media credential application for the 2017 Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship is now available. Media interested in covering the event can log on to and access the credential application via the link under the credential icon. 





 Dec. 14, 2017

(National Semifinals)

#5 Nebraska 3, #1 Penn State 2 (ESPN)

Kansas City, Mo.


#2 Florida 3, #3 Stanford 2 (ESPN)

Kansas City, Mo.


 Dec. 16, 2017

(National Championship)

#5 Nebraska 3, #2 Florida 1 (ESPN2)

Kansas City, Mo.