Volleyball Season In Review
Dec. 19, 2017


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BIG TEN VOLLEYBALL RELEASE - SEASON IN REVIEW 

• With a 3-1 win over second-seeded Florida, No. 5 Nebraska claimed the 2017 NCAA Women's Volleyball national championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The title marked Nebraska's fifth NCAA Championship and second in three years. For more, click here.

• Big Ten teams have now claimed nine of the last 12 NCAA Championships, with the Penn State collecting six (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014) and Nebraska winning three times (2006, 2015, 2017).

• Nebraska's Mikaela Foecke and Kelly Hunter were named the Co-Most Outstanding Players of the NCAA Tournament.

• An NCAA record 18,516 fans attended Saturday's match, shattering the previous record of 17,561 set in 2015 at Century Link Center in Omaha, Neb. -- the last time the Huskers took home the national title.

• 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.

• A Big Ten record 17 Big Ten volleyball students were selected as AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) All-Americans, as announced by the AVCA. Represented on the first team are Minnesota's Stephanie Samedy, Nebraska's Kelly Hunter, Penn State's Haleigh Washington and Simone Lee, Purdue's Danielle Cuttino and Wisconsin's Dana Rettke. For more, click here.

• Penn State middle blocker Haleigh Washington has been selected as the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® winner in NCAA® Division I women's volleyball. The award is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball. For more, click here.

• 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. For more, click here.

• 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. For more, click here.

• 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. For more, click here.

• Three active Big Ten coaches have recorded at least 600 career wins: Penn State's Russ Rose (1,246), Nebraska's John Cook (661) 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. For more, click here.

• Seven Big Ten programs earned spots in the final AVCA coaches poll, with four teams ranked among the top 10: No. 1 Nebraska, No. 3 Penn State, No. 8 Michigan State, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 12 Wisconsin, No. 17 Illinois and No. 18 Purdue.

• Since the 2012 season, four Big Ten schools (Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin) have been ranked No. 1 in the AVCA coaches poll a total of 51 weeks. During that span, the Nittany Lions have earned the top spot 28 times.

• Based on average attendance, the Big Ten finished the 2017 season with nine of the nation's top 25 teams, including three of the top five. Nebraska led the nation, averaging 8,202 fans per contest, Wisconsin is third with 5,980, Minnesota is fourth at 4,971, Penn State is sixth with 3,540, while Michigan State finished at No. 9 with 3,540 patrons per contest. Illinois (2,524) finished 13 in the nation, while Purdue (2,383) came in at No. 17. Iowa (1,812) and Michigan (1,650) round out the top 25 at No. 23 and No. 25, respectively.