NEB VB: Wong-Orantes Leads Huskers' All-Big Ten Selections - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

NEB VB: Wong-Orantes Leads Huskers' All-Big Ten Selections

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Posted By: Sports

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Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

Nebraska libero Justine Wong-Orantes was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, highlighting the Big Ten champion Nebraska volleyball team's four selections to the All-Big Ten team on Tuesday.

Nebraska Head Coach John Cook was selected the Big Ten Coach of the Year by both the coaches and media, marking his sixth career conference coach-of-the-year honor but first while leading the Huskers in the Big Ten era.

Wong-Orantes and Kadie Rolfzen were unanimous selections to the All-Big Ten team, while Amber Rolfzen and Kelly Hunter were also voted to the 18-member team by the league's head coaches. Mikaela Foecke and Briana Holman received honorable mention, and Brooke Smith was Nebraska's Sportsmanship Award winner. The Huskers' four All-Big Ten selections were the most for any Big Ten team and are Nebraska's most since 2008 in the Big 12.

Although Wong-Orantes was voted the conference's best defensive player for the second time, this marks her first career selection to the All-Big Ten team. The libero out of Cypress, California became Nebraska's all-time career digs leader this season and set a single-match school record with 35 digs against Minnesota in October. Wong-Orantes, a third-team AVCA All-American last season, averaged 4.14 digs per set this season and became the first Husker in school history to surpass 1,800 career digs.

Kadie Rolfzen earned her fourth career selection to the All-Big Ten team, becoming the third Husker all-time to garner four first-team all-conference selections (Sarah Pavan, 2004-07; Greichaly Cepero, 1999-2002). A first-team AVCA All-American last season, Rolfzen leads the Huskers with 3.14 kills per set and adds 2.51 digs per set, establishing her as one of the top six-rotation players in the conference. The Papillion, Nebraska native hit a career-best .293 in the regular season and served a career-high 22 aces. An NCAA Senior CLASS Award finalist, Rolfzen joined Jordan Larson as the only Huskers to rank in the top seven in school history in career kills and digs, as she sits seventh in both entering the postseason.

Amber Rolfzen was a repeat selection to the All-Big Ten team, making the squad in both of her seasons as a middle blocker. Rolfzen averaged 1.94 kills and a team-high 1.43 blocks per set while hitting .326 this season. She ranked third in the Big Ten in blocks and had an average of 1.51 blocks per set in conference play. The Papillion, Nebraska native has cracked the career block assists chart (No. 6) and total blocks chart (No. 9) in just two seasons as a middle blocker. A second-team AVCA All-American last season, Rolfzen was named the espnW and AVCA National Player of the Week after 16 kills in both wins over Wisconsin and Minnesota in October, and she was also named Big Ten Player of the Week and a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week this season.

Hunter, the Huskers' junior setter and captain, earned her first All-Big Ten selection after leading the Huskers with 11.24 assists per set this season, which ranked third in the Big Ten. The Papillion, Nebraska native is the first Husker setter to receive first-team all-conference honors since Lauren Cook in 2012. Hunter led Nebraska with eight double-doubles in the regular season and was a four-time Big Ten Setter of the Week. She set a career high with 61 assists at Penn State on November 4.

Foecke, the most outstanding player of the 2015 NCAA Championship as a freshman, posted 2.89 kills per set with an impressive .306 hitting percentage as a sophomore, which ranked among the top outside hitters in the Big Ten. The West Point, Iowa product served 16 aces and chipped in 42 blocks, and she played pivotal roles in big matches, including 20 kills against Minnesota on October 23, 19 at Penn State on November 4 and 18 against Michigan in the Big Ten title-clinching win.

Holman, a junior middle blocker from DeSoto, Texas, received honorable mention (at least two votes from the 13 other Big Ten coaches) in her first season playing for the Huskers. Holman ranks eighth in the Big Ten with a .346 hitting percentage and is averaging 1.20 blocks per set and 2.41 kills per set this season. She was the espnW National Player of the Week in the first week of the season after leading the Huskers to wins over No. 10 Florida and No. 2 Texas.

In his 17th season as head coach at Nebraska, Cook led the Huskers to their second Big Ten title and the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, as the Huskers spent 12 of 15 weeks atop the AVCA Coaches Poll. Cook is a two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, also winning the award in 1997 at Wisconsin, and was a four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year before the Huskers' move to the Big Ten in 2011. His Husker teams have won 11 conference titles in his 17 seasons, and he holds the nation's best winning percentage (.886) since 2000.

ALL-BIG TEN

Ali Bastianelli, So., MB, ILL

Jordyn Poulter, So., S, ILL

ABBY COLE, Sr., MB, MICH

Alyssa Garvelink, Jr., MB, MSU

SARAH WILHITE, Sr., OH MINN

SAMANTHA SELIGER-SWENSON, So., S, MINN

Hannah Tapp, Sr., MB, MINN

Kelly Hunter, Jr., S, NEB

Amber Rolfzen, Sr., MB, NEB

KADIE ROLFZEN, Sr., OH, NEB

JUSTINE WONG-ORANTES, Sr., L, NEB

TAYLOR SANDBOTHE, Sr., MB, OSU

SIMONE LEE, Jr., OH, PSU

HALEIGH WASHINGTON, Jr., MB, PSU

DANIELLE CUTTINO, Jr., OH, PUR

LAUREN CARLINI, Sr., S, WIS

Haleigh Nelson, Sr., MB WIS

Tionna Williams, So., MB, WIS

HONORABLE MENTION

Brandi Donnelly, Jr., L, ILL

Jazzmine McDonald, Sr., MB, IND

Loxley Keala, Sr., S, IOWA

Gia Milana, Fr., OH, MD

MacKenzi Welsh, Fr., S, MICH

Autumn Bailey, Jr., OH, MSU

Rachel Minarick, Jr., S, MSU

Molly Lohman, Jr., MB, MINN

Mikaela Foecke, So., OH, NEB

Briana Holman, Jr., MB, NEB

Symone Abbott, Jr., OH, NU

Taylor Hughes, So., S, OSU

Faye Adelaja, Sr., MB, PUR

Molly Haggerty, Fr., OH, WIS

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

Jacqueline Quade, OH, ILL

GIA MILANA, OH, MD

MacKenzi Welsh, S, MICH

Alexis Hart, OH, MINN

Tori Gorrell, MB, PSU

Kendall White, L, PSU

MOLLY HAGGERTY, OH, WIS

Unanimous selections in CAPS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Sarah Wilhite, MINN

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Justine Wong-Orantes, NEB

SETTER OF THE YEAR

Samantha Seliger-Swenson, MINN

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Molly Haggerty, WIS

COACH OF THE YEAR (COACHES AND MEDIA)

John Cook, NEB

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES

Katie Stadick, ILL

Jessica Leish, IND

Ashley Mariana, IOWA

Samantha Higginbothem, MD

Kelly Murphy, MICH

Alyssah Fitterer, MSU

Paige Tapp, MINN

Brooke Smith, NEB

Caleigh Ryan, NU

Kylie Randall, OSU

Faye Adelaja, PUR

Laura Broerman, PSU

Mikaela Matthews, RU

Tori Blake, WIS

ALL CAPS denotes unanimous selection

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