Reigning NCAA champ Nebraska selected as preseason Big Ten favorite

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Reigning NCAA champ Nebraska selected as preseason Big Ten favorite

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Defending NCAA and co-Big Ten champion Nebraska was chosen as the conference favorite for the 2018 volleyball season as voted on by the Big Ten coaches, it was announced on Tuesday. The Huskers begin their 2018 campaign ranked No. 2 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). After claiming its fifth national title last season, Nebraska tops the preseason poll for the second time in three years.

No. 9 ranked Wisconsin was picked to finish second, while Minnesota was tabbed third. Penn State was voted to finish fourth, while Illinois rounded out the top five of the preseason poll in fifth place.

Additionally, conference coaches selected a Preseason All-Big Ten Team featuring seven unanimous selections and six previous preseason honorees. Illinois’ Jordyn Poulter, Michigan’s Carly Skjodt, Minnesota’s Stephanie Samedy and Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Nebraska’s Mikaela Foecke, Purdue’s Sherridan Atkinson and Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke were unanimous selections. Poulter and Seliger-Swenson receive Preseason All-Big Ten honors for the third straight season, while Foecke claims the recognition for the second time.

Of the 14 members on the Preseason All-Big Ten Team, ten were AVCA All-Americans in 2017 with Minnesota’s Samedy and Wisconsin’s Rettke earning first-team honors. Minnesota’s Seliger-Swenson and Nebraska’s Foecke claimed second-team accolades, while Illinois’ Bastianelli and Poulter, Michigan’s Skjodt, Minnesota’s Alexis Hart and Purdue’s Atkinson received third-team recognition. In addition, Wisconsin’s Tionna Williams was an honorable mention AVCA All-America honoree.

The preseason honorees include one of the conference’s individual award winners from last season: Big Ten Freshman of the Year, in Badgers’ Rettke. Ten members of last year’s All-Big Ten Team, one honorable mention All-Big Ten honoree and two All-Freshman team recipients are represented on the 2018 Preseason All-Big Ten Team.

In addition, Bastianelli, Poulter, Atkinson, Foecke, Skjodt, Nebraska’s Kenzie Maloney and Penn State’s Kendall White were named to the 2017 Academic All-Big Ten team.

2018 PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN VOLLEYBALL TEAM

Ali Bastianelli, ILL
JORDYN POULTER, ILL
Taylor Louis, IOWA
CARLY SKJODT, MICH
Alexis Hart, MINN
STEPHANIE SAMEDY, MINN
SAMANTHA SELIGER-SWENSON, MINN
MIKAELA FOECKE, NEB
Kenzie Maloney, NEB
Taylor Leath, PSU
Kendall White, PSU
SHERRIDAN ATKINSON, PUR
DANA RETTKE, WIS
Tionna Williams, WIS
UNANIMOUS SELECTIONS IN CAPS

2018 BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL

1. Nebraska
2. Wisconsin
3. Minnesota
4. Penn State
5. Illinois
6. Michigan
7. Purdue
8. Ohio State
9. Michigan State
9. Iowa
11. Northwestern
12. Indiana
13. Maryland
14. Rutgers

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