Photo by Laura Leffler

Foecke Named AAU Sullivan Award Finalist

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska volleyball student-athlete Mikaela Foecke has been named a finalist for the prestigious AAU James E. Sullivan Award, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) announced Monday. 

The AAU Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930 to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Representatives from the AAU created the Sullivan Award with the intent to recognize amateur contributions and achievements from non-professional athletes across the country. Foecke was also a finalist for the award in 2016, and this marks the fourth time in the last five years Nebraska volleyball has had a finalist for the AAU Sullivan Award. Foecke will go to New York City for the ceremony, which will take place Tuesday, April 16 at the New York Athletic Club.

Fan voting is open to the public at https://aausports.wyng.com/AAUSullivanAwardFinalists. Fans can vote once per day through March 22. During finalist voting, hashtag voting will also count. Tweets and Retweets using #VoteMikaela and #AAUSullivanAward will count in the final tally.

"I am so proud to be able to represent Nebraska volleyball at the AAU Sullivan Award ceremony for a second time," Foecke said. "Once again, it is so humbling to be included in a group of such amazing athletes from around the country. This wouldn't be possible without the support from my family, teammates, coaches, and of course, Husker Nation. I want to thank everyone for voting for me and supporting me, and thank you to the AAU Sullivan Award committee for the honor of being recognized as a finalist for the award."

Foecke concluded her illustrious Husker career in 2018 with AVCA First-Team All-America honors after leading the team with 3.86 kills per set and 2.65 digs per set, along with a team-high 46 service aces. She finished her Husker career with a 21-2 record in her NCAA Tournament career after a runner-up finish in 2018, playing in more sets and matches and winning more NCAA Tournament matches than any player in Husker history. She went 52-3 in her career during the months of November and December and was an NCAA Championship All-Tournament selection for the third time in her career after a career-high 27 kills on .296 hitting with 11 digs in the NCAA Championship match against Stanford. She posted double-doubles in her last four NCAA Tournament matches to bring her season total to 17 and was named most valuable player of the Minneapolis Regional after 16 kills and 13 digs against No. 14 Oregon and 14 kills and 10 digs against No. 10 Kentucky. 

Foecke was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection for the second straight season and ended her career at No. 3 on NU's career kills chart with 1,684, the second-highest total in the rally-scoring era. Foecke won the Senior CLASS Award, given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball with notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.

A team captain and Nebraska volleyball's representative on the Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Foecke has shown exemplary character throughout her Husker career. A three-time Tom Osborne Citizenship Team member and a Diversity & Inclusion Summit leader, Foecke has also remained committed to community outreach, helping the Husker volleyball program earn the Nebraska's Life Skills Award through her work with events and organizations such as One Shirt One Body, Uplifting Athletes, People's City Mission, Husker Heroes, Make-a-Wish and more.

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