Photo by Laura Leffler

Foecke Named Senior CLASS Award Winner

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska outside hitter Mikaela Foecke has been selected as the 2018 Senior CLASS Award winner in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I volleyball coaches, national volleyball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Foecke is the fourth Senior CLASS Award winner from Nebraska and the second Husker to win for volleyball after Gina Mancuso took home the award in 2012.

“When I came to the University of Nebraska in 2015, my goals were to not only help Nebraska volleyball win games and championships, but also to become a better student, person and teammate,” said Foecke, who led the Huskers to their fourth consecutive Final Four this season after capturing NCAA national titles as both a freshman and junior. “These past four years have gone by so quickly, and it hasn’t really set in yet that my college career is coming to an end. But when I look back, I am so proud of all that we have accomplished. To win two national championships and two Big Ten championships has been incredible, but what I will really take most from my time at Nebraska is the relationships I have built with my teammates, the coaches, the staff, and of course our amazing fans. Whichever path I take after graduation, I know that the experience of being a student-athlete at Nebraska will have prepared me well for life both on and off the volleyball court.”

Already receiving her fourth-straight first-team AVCA All-North Region honor this season, Foecke will go down as one of the greatest players in one of the top volleyball programs in the country. A two-time NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player, Foecke has earned AVCA All-America honors in each of her first three seasons with the potential for a fourth honor this week, and has earned Big Ten conference honors all four years as well, including unanimous first-team honors as both a junior and senior. Foecke currently ranks third on Nebraska’s career kills list with 1,638, and her 132 career aces are eighth-most in school history. She also has 263 career kills all-time in the NCAA Tournament, second-most in school history behind only Sarah Pavan (304).

Also a standout in the classroom, Foecke has received multiple Academic All-Big Ten honors in her career for both court volleyball and beach volleyball. Majoring in animal science, she carries a 3.649 GPA is a five-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll and has received Nebraska’s High Honors (Silver) Academic Medallion twice.

“Mikaela is part of the most decorated senior class in the history of Nebraska volleyball,” said Head Coach John Cook, a two-time AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year. “She and Kenzie Maloney are the only two Nebraska players ever who will have played at four NCAA Final Fours, and she has been the most outstanding player two of the three times we have been there, which is incredible. What separates Mikaela is her dedication to being great in everything she does. She is a phenomenal student with aspirations of being a veterinarian someday. Mikaela has also developed outstanding leadership skills during her time at Nebraska, and there’s no question that she and Kenzie are the biggest reason this young team has made it to the NCAA Semifinals for a fourth time. Mikaela will leave a huge lasting legacy on Nebraska volleyball when her career comes to an end.”

A team captain and its 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.

“On behalf of everyone associated with the Senior CLASS Award, we are honored to recognize Mikaela Foecke as this year’s winner for women’s volleyball,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “Not only is Mikaela one of the best players to ever wear a Husker uniform, she’s also an incredibly well-rounded student-athlete who excels in every area. We offer our sincere congratulations to Mikaela, her team and the entire university.”

For more information, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

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First-Team Senior CLASS Award All-Americans
Ali Bastianelli, Illinois
Santita Ebangwese, Syracuse
Mikaela Foecke, Nebraska
Jordyn Poulter, Illinois
Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Minnesota

Second-Team Senior CLASS Award All-Americans
Tami Alade, Stanford
Lauren Bruns, Dayton
Taryn Kloth, Creighton
Haley Libs, Northern Kentucky
Courtney Pence, Illinois State

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