The Big Ten announced its postseason volleyball awards on Tuesday, with student-athletes from two schools earning recognition following the conclusion of the 2012 regular season.
Penn State’s Ariel Scott has been named the Big Ten Player of the Year by a vote of the conference’s coaches, while teammates Micha Hancock and Megan Courtney were named Big Ten Setter of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively.
Michigan’s State’s Kori Moster earned Defensive Player of the Year honors, while Penn State’s Russ Rose was tabbed Coach of the Year by Big Ten coaches and media.
Scott led the top-ranked Nittany Lions in kills (3.68) and points (4.10) per set through the conference season, helping Penn State to the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Championship. The Nittany Lion junior also hit at a .327 clip on 614 total attempts. Scott becomes the seventh Penn State player to win the award in the last eight years.
Moster averaged 4.39 digs per set this season en route to being tabbed the top defensive player in the conference. The Spartan sophomore is the first Michigan State player to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Hancock takes home the inaugural Big Ten Setter of the Year award after being named Freshman of the Year in 2011. The Penn State sophomore led the Big Ten in assists (11.44) and placed second in service aces (.51) per set. Hancock was named Big Ten Setter of the Week six times this season and claimed National Player of the Week honors on Nov. 6.
Courtney is the 10th Nittany Lion to be named Freshman of the Year in the past 11 seasons and the 11th Penn State player all-time to earn the award. The outside hitter averaged 2.03 kills and 1.87 digs per set for the top-ranked Nittany Lions.
Rose earns top billing among the conference’s coaches and media after guiding Penn State to a 29-2 overall record and a 19-1 mark in Big Ten play en route to its ninth conference title in the last 10 years. The Nittany Lions also earned the top overall seed in the NCAA Championship. Rose’s award from the coaches marks his 11th all-time and fifth in the last six years, while his honor from the media is his seventh in the last eight years.
Sixteen Big Ten players were tabbed All-Big Ten by the conference’s coaches, with eight making the team via unanimous vote. Joining Scott as unanimous All-Big Ten selections are Michigan State’s Lauren Wicinski, Minnesota’s Tori Dixon and Katherine Harms, Nebraska’s Gina Mancuso, Ohio State’s Mari Hole, Penn State’s Deja McClendon and Purdue’s Ariel Turner. Rounding out the All-Conference Team are Illinois’ Liz McMahon, Michigan’s Jennifer Cross and Lexi Erwin, Nebraska’s Lauren Cook and Hannah Werth, Northwestern’s Stephanie Holthus and Penn State’s Hancock and Katie Slay.
Courtney was unanimously voted to the All-Freshman Team, along with Illinois’ Jocelynn Birks, Michigan’s Tiffany Morales, Minnesota’s Daly Santa and Nebraska’s Meghan Haggerty. Michigan State’s Halle Peterson and Purdue’s Annie Drews also appeared on the seven-player team.
The Big Ten also recognized 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.