Big Ten Announces 2019 Postseason Volleyball Honors
Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin claim individual awards
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten announced the 2019 postseason volleyball awards on Wednesday, with standouts from Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin earning recognition. The Badgers’ Dana Rettke was named the Big Ten Player of the Year by a vote of the conference’s coaches. Penn State’s Kendall White was tabbed the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, for the second consecutive season. Wisconsin’s Sydney Hilley earned Setter of the Year plaudits and Nebraska’s Madi Kubik won Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Penn State’s Russ Rose was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the conference’s coaches and Wisconsin’s Kelly Sheffield earned the honor from the media contingent.
Rettke, a unanimous All-Big Ten selection, ranks fifth in the Big Ten in kills per set with 3.77 and third in the conference with a .402 hitting percentage. The Riverside, Ill., native also averages 1.40 blocks per set, good for second in the Big Ten. The junior leads the nation in hitting percentage for active career leaders with .423 and ranks third in active career blocks per set with 1.44. The Academic All-Big Ten honoree earned Big Ten Player of the Week recognition four times this season and led Wisconsin to its sixth Big Ten title, the first since 2014, finishing the conference season with an 18-2 record. Rettke is the fifth student in Wisconsin history to be named Big Ten Player of the Year. Wisconsin’s Lauren Carlini earned the honor in 2014.
White earned unanimous All-Big Ten honors and ranks fourth in the Big Ten in digs per set with 4.14, helping Penn State to a 17-3 Big Ten record. The Zionsville, Ind., native earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week recognition twice this season. An Academic All-Big Ten selection, White is Penn State’s only two-time honoree after winning the plaudit in 2018 and collects the Nittany Lions’ fourth Defensive Player of the Year accolade, the third in as many years. Haleigh Washington claimed the award in 2017.
Hilley, a unanimous All-Big Ten selection, averaged 12.42 assists per set during Big Ten play, while leading the Badgers to a .300 team hitting percentage in the conference season. The Academic All-Big Ten honoree was named Big Ten Setter of the Week six times this season. This is Wisconsin’s third Setter of the Year award since the plaudit’s inception in 2012 and the first since Carlini claimed the honor in 2014 and 2015.
Kubik averaged 2.73 kills per set on a .216 hitting percentage and 2.52 digs per set in her first collegiate campaign, assisting Nebraska to a 17-3 finish in Big Ten play. The West Des Moines, Iowa, native earned Big Ten Player of the Week plaudits once this season and Freshman of the Week twice. She is Nebraska’s first Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Rose earned top billing among the conference’s coaches for a Big Ten record 13th time, marking every occasion a Penn State coach has been honored, with the last coming in 2013. This season he guided Penn State to a 24-5 overall record, a 17-3 mark in Big Ten play.
Sheffield garners Coach of the Year honors via the media contingent for the second time at Wisconsin. Under his leadership, the Badgers finished 22-6 overall with an 18-2 Big Ten record claiming Wisconsin’s sixth Big Ten title and the second under his tutelage. The honor marks Wisconsin’s sixth Coach of the Year honor awarded by the media.
Eighteen Big Ten players were named All-Big Ten by the conference’s coaches, with nine unanimous selections. Joining Hilley, Rettke and White as unanimous honorees were Michigan’s Paige Jones, Minnesota’s Regan Pittman, Nebraska’s Lauren Stivrins, Penn State’s Kaitlyn Hord and Jonni Parker and Purdue’s Grace Cleveland.
Joining Kubik on the All-Freshman team were Illinois’s Diana Brown, Michigan’s May Pertofsky and Jessica Robinson, Nebraska’s Kenzie Knuckles, Northwestern’s Temi Thomas-Ailara and Ohio State’s Jenaisya Moore and Kylie Murr.
The Big Ten also recognized 14 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The students chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These students 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.
2019 Big Ten Volleyball All-Big Ten Honorees
Jacqueline Quade, Sr., Illinois
Katie Myers, So., Maryland
Paige Jones, So., Michigan*
Mackenzi Welsh, Sr., Michigan
CC McGraw, So., Minnesota
Regan Pittman, Jr., Minnesota*
Stephanie Samedy, Jr., Minnesota
Nicklin Hames, So., Nebraska
Lauren Stivrins, Jr., Nebraska*
Lexi Sun, Jr., Nebraska
Kaitlyn Hord, So., Penn State*
Jonni Parker, So., Penn State*
Kendall White, Sr., Penn State*
Grace Cleveland, So., Purdue*
Blake Mohler, Sr., Purdue
Sydney Hilley, Jr., Wisconsin*
Grace Loberg, Jr., Wisconsin
Dana Rettke, Jr., Wisconsin*
* denotes unanimous selection
Ashlyn Fleming, Sr., Illinois
Breana Edwards, So., Indiana
Cori Crocker, Sr., Michigan
Alexis Hart, Sr., Minnesota
Taylor Morgan, Sr., Minnesota
Madi Kubik, Fr., Nebraska
Temi Thomas-Ailara, Fr., Northwestern
Kylie Murr, Fr., Ohio State
Gabby Blossom, So., Penn State
Caitlyn Newton, Jr., Purdue
Madison Duello, Sr., Wisconsin
Molly Haggerty, Jr., Wisconsin
Danielle Hart, So., Wisconsin
Diana Brown, Illinois
May Pertofsky, Michigan
Jessica Robinson, Michigan
Kenzie Knuckles, Nebraska
Madi Kubik, Nebraska
Temi Thomas-Ailara, Northwestern
Jenaisya Moore, Ohio State
Kylie Murr, Ohio State
Player of the Year: Dana Rettke, Jr., Wisconsin
Defensive Player of the Year: Kendall White, Sr., Penn State
Setter of the Year: Sydney Hilley, Jr., Wisconsin
Freshman of the Year: Madi Kubik, Nebraska
Coach of the Year (Coaches): Russ Rose, Penn State
Coach of the Year (Media): Kelly Sheffield, Wisconsin
Beth Prince, Sr., Illinois
Meaghan Koors, Sr., Indiana
Brie Orr, Jr., Iowa
Taylor Smith, Sr., Maryland
Sydney Wetterstrom, Sr., Michigan
Sam McLean, Sr., Michigan State
Lauren Litzau, Sr., Minnesota
Anezka Szabo, So., Nebraska
Emily Ehman, Sr., Northwestern
Bia Rodrigues-Franklin, Sr., Ohio State
Emily Sciorra, Sr., Penn State
Jael Johnson, So., Purdue
Jasmine Stackhouse, Sr., Rutgers
M.E. Dodge, Sr., Wisconsin