Lincoln - After earning its 12th Big 12 title on Saturday with a win over Texas A&M, the Nebraska volleyball team earned several individual honors on Monday as the 2010 All-Big 12 teams and player-of-the-year awards were announced. Sophomore Hannah Werth was tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Year, while Lauren Cook was picked as Newcomer of the Year and Head Coach John Cook was named Co-Head Coach of the Year along with Texas' Jerritt Elliott.
Werth was also one of three Huskers picked to the All-Big 12 first team, as she was joined by senior right side hitter Lindsey Licht and junior middle blocker Brooke Delano, who was a unanimous selection by the Big 12 coaches. Senior Kayla Banwarth was an honorable-mention selection for the second straight year, while freshman Morgan Broekhuis was a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 Freshman team.
After earning honorable-mention honors last season with 3.18 kills and 3.00 digs per set as a freshman, Werth continued to work on her skills and improved her digs to 3.11 per set to go along with 0.60 blocks this season in Big 12 play while still putting away 2.96 kills per set. Werth leads the Huskers with nine double-doubles, including six during the conference season. She is the fourth Husker to earn Defensive Player of Year honors, joining Jordan Larson (2008, 2006) Christina Houghtelling (2006) and Jennifer Saleaumua (2004-05).
Cook has been a key to the Husker offense this season in its 6-2 rotation after transferring from UCLA where she was the 2009 AVCA National Freshman of the Year. While splitting time with two-time All-American Sydney Anderson, Cook has led the Huskers with 6.27 assists per set, and has been even better in Big 12 play with 6.37 per set. The sophomore has also been the Huskers best server with 26 aces on the season, with 18 coming in conference matches. The Huskers are first in the Big 12 in assists (14.16), kills (15.15) and rank second in hitting percentage (.284). Cook is the eighth Husker to earn Newcomer of the Year accolades.
Coming off All-America honors as a sophomore in 2009, Delano has been even better for the Huskers this season at middle blocker. She ranks eighth nationally in hitting percentage at .418 and is seventh in the country in blocks with 1.45 per set. Delano is looking to become just the fourth attacker in NU history to end the season with a hitting percentage over .400.
Licht is having the best year of her career as a senior with career highs in kills (2.94), blocks (1.06) and hitting percentage (.300). Prior to 2010 Licht had never hit above .300 or averaged one block per set. She has raised her game during the conference schedule with 3.03 kills and 1.08 blocks per set. Licht set a career best with 18 kills against Florida this season and has tied her career best in blocks twice with eight against both Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
Banwarth anchored the Husker defense once again in 2010 and put her stamp on the record books this season as she set the NU career record for digs with the 1,569th dig of her career at Baylor. Even though teams tried to stay away from her, Banwarth still put up a team-best 4.89 digs per set on the year. She was held to single-digit digs just twice this season and topped the 20-dig plateau seven times.
Broekhuis continued to grow all season for the Huskers after becoming the sixth true freshman to start a season opener under John Cook. She has been one of the Huskers' most dangerous attackers down the stretch, as she is averaging 2.58 kills on .363 hitting over her last eight matches, while also putting up 0.46 stuffs.
Cook led his squad to a 27-2 overall record during the regular season, including a 19-1 mark during the Big 12 slate and the No. 2 overall seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. After winning NU's 31st conference title and its 12th in the Big 12 era, Cook was honored as the league's top coach for the fourth time in his career. Nebraska leads the Big 12 in opponent hitting (.146), assists (14.16), kills (15.15) and blocks (2.99) this season.
The Huskers open the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, Dec. 2, when they face Sacred Heart at the NU Coliseum. The match is set to start at 7 p.m., or 30 minutes after the 4:30 p.m. match between Auburn and Missouri State. The first-round winners will then meet on Friday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.
|OVERALL BIG 12 AWARDS|
|Player of the Year||Pos.||Cl.||Ht.||Hometown/Previous School|
|Juliann Faucette, Texas||OH||Sr.||6-2||San Diego, Calif./Westview|
|Newcomer of the Year|
|Lauren Cook, Nebraska||S||So.||5-8||Lincoln, Neb./UCLA^|
|Freshman of the Year|
|Sallie McLaurin, Oklahoma||MB||Fr.||6-2||Midwest City, Okla./Carl Albert|
|Defensive Player of the Year|
|Hannah Werth, Nebraska||OH||So.||6-1||Springfield, Ill./Glenwood|
|Libero of the Year|
|Ashley Mass, Iowa State||DS/L||Sr.||5-8||Mskego, Wis./Muskego|
|Co-Coaches of the Year|
|John Cook (Nebraska) and Jerritt Elliott (Texas)|
|ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM|
|Elizabeth Graham, Baylor||MB||Sr.||6-2||Leander, Texas/Texas|
|Victoria Henson, Iowa State^||OH||Sr.||5-11||Leavenworth, Kan./Leavenworth|
|Ashley Mass, Iowa State||DS/L||Sr.||5-8||Muskego, Wis./Muskego|
|Jamie Straube, Iowa State||MB||So.||6-2||Tecumseh, Neb./Johson County Central|
|Paola Ampudia, Missouri^||OH/RS||Sr.||6-1||Cali, Columbia/Miami Dade College|
|Brooke Delano, Nebraska^||MB||Jr.||6-4||Bellevue, Neb./West|
|Lindsey Licht, Nebraska||RS||Sr.||6-5||Aurora, Colo./Grandview|
|Hannah Werth, Nebraska||OH||So.||6-1||Springfield, Ill./Glenwood|
|Brianne Barker, Oklahoma||S||Jr.||5-9||Amarillo, Texas/Amarillo|
|Suzy Boulavksy, Oklahoma^||RS/OH||Jr.||6-1||Houston, Texas/Clear Brook|
|Rachael Adams, Texas^||MB||Jr.||6-2||Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame|
|Juliann Faucette^||OH||Sr.||6-2||San Diego, Calif./Westview|
|Kelsey Black, Texas A&M||OH||Jr.||5-11||Amarillo, Texas/Amarillo|
|Amanda Dowdy, Texas Tech||MB/OH||Jr.||6-3||Lexington, Texas/Lexington|
|ALL-BIG 12 HONORABLE MENTION|
|Name, School||Pos.||Cl.||Ht.||Hometown/Previous School|
|Karina Garlington, Kansas||OH||Sr.||6-0||Denver, Colo./Grandview|
|Molly Kreklow, Missouri||S||Fr.||6-0||Delano, Minn./Delano|
|Kayla Banwarth, Nebraska||L||Sr.||5-11||Dubuque, Iowa/Wahlert Catholic|
|Jennifer Doris, Texas||MB||Sr.||6-5||Houston, Texas/Cypress Falls|
|Amber Roberson, Texas||MB||Jr.||6-2||San Antonio, Texas/Wagner|
|Allie Sawatzky, Texas A&M||S||Fr.||6-2||St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada/Lord Selkirk|
|ALL-BIG 12 FRESHMAN TEAM|
|Name, School||Pos.||Ht.||Hometown/Previous School|
|Kaitlynn Pelger, Kansas State||MB||6-2||Overland Park, Kan./Olathe South|
|Lisa Henning, Missouri||OH||6-0||Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs|
|Molly Kreklow, Missouri^||S||6-0||Delano, Minn./Delano|
|Morgan Broekhuis, Nebraska^||RS||6-5||Colorado Springs, Colo./Christian|
|Sallie McLaurin, Oklahoma^||MB||6-2||Midwest City, Okla./Carl Albert|
|Allie Sawatzky, Texas A&M||S||6-2||St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada/Lord Selkirk|
^ - Unanimous Selection