- Five members of the Nebraska volleyball team were honored on Tuesday as members of the 2010 Academic All-Big 12 team, released by the conference office. Jordan Wilberger, Lindsey Licht, Allison McNeal and Gina Mancuso were all first-team selections, while Kayla Banwarth was a second-team honoree.
A first-team selection for the second straight year, Wilberger has been a major contributor for the Huskers at middle blocker this season. While excelling with a 3.758 GPA as a middle grades education and English as a second language major, Wilberger ranks in the top 10 of the Big 12 in both hitting percentage and blocks. The Scottsbluff, Neb., native is hitting .321 (7th) and is putting up 1.17 (6th) blocks per set.
The first honor of her career, Licht carries a 3.268 GPA as an elementary education major. The senior from Aurora, Colo., is having a career year with 2.94 kills and 1.13 blocks per set, the eighth-best mark in the Big 12 this season. Licht is also hitting a career-best .305 which ranks tenth in the league.
McNeal has been in the rotation at middle blocker, playing in 53 sets. The Schulenberg, Texas, native carries a 3.793 GPA as an elementary education major. On the court, McNeal averages 1.38 kills and 0.92 blocks per set, while posting a .367 hitting percentage.
One of three Huskers to share the outside hitter position, Mancuso is averaging 1.83 kills and 1.65 digs per set during her sophomore season. In the classroom she had not declared a major, but holds a 3.592 GPA.
Banwarth earned second-team honors for the second straight year as an English major with a 3.128 GPA. The senior from Dubuque, Iowa was named a team captain for the Huskers this season and is in her fourth year as the starting libero. Banwarth recently set the NU career digs record with the 1,569th dig of her career in a 3-0 win at Texas Tech.
Nominated by each institution's director of student-athlete support services, the volleyball academic all-league squad consisted of 38 first team members combined with 13 on the second team. First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.
To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.
The fifth-ranked Huskers return to action Wednesday night, as they host the Oklahoma Sooners at the NU Coliseum. First serve is at 7 p.m. and the match will be carried by across the state on NET and nationwide on CBS College Sports.