LINCOLN — Madi Kubik came to Nebraska to help replace Mikaela Foecke, but with the announcement of the Big Ten postseason honors, she lived up to the standards of two other Nebraska All-Americans.
The 6-foot-3 outside hitter was named the league’s freshman of the year Wednesday, becoming the first Husker to receive the honor since Hannah Werth in 2009 from the Big 12.
Kubik, who averaged 2.73 kills and 2.52 digs per set, was also named to the All-Big Ten second team and the all-freshman team. She is also the first NU freshman named to an all-league team since Kadie Rolfzen in 2013.
“We recruited Madi to come in and take Mikaela’s spot. She’s trying to live up to that,” coach John Cook said earlier this year. “She’s carrying a big role, and not many freshmen six-rotation outside hitters are playing for the top teams.”
Kubik was one of five Huskers to receive league honors. Junior middle blocker Lauren Stivrins, junior outside hitter Lexi Sun and sophomore setter Nicklin Hames made the 18-member first team.
Stivrins was a unanimous selection, earning her second all-conference award. The 2018 All-American finished league play third in hitting percentage (.412) with 2.57 kills per set. She also averaged 1.06 blocks per set.
Sun also earned first-team conference honors from the Big 12 during her freshman year at Texas. This season, she led the Huskers with 24 aces and 3.57 kills per set. She finished with double-digit kills in 18 of 20 Big Ten matches.
Hames averaged 10.92 assists and 2.9 digs per set and recorded 15 double-doubles. Her 11.37 assists per set during Big Ten play ranked third in the league.
Libero Kenzie Knuckles was named to the all-freshman team. She averaged 3.71 digs per set, which was ninth-best in the conference.
Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke was named player of the year after she finished second in blocks, third in hitting percentage, fifth in kills and seventh in aces. The conference champion Badgers also featured the league’s top setter, Sydney Hilley. The 6-foot junior averaged a conference-best 12.14 assists per set.
Penn State’s Kendall White was honored as the Big Ten’s best defensive player for the second straight year after averaging 4.14 digs per set. The coach of the year award was split with Kelly Sheffield of Wisconsin earning the media’s vote while Penn State’s Russ Rose was the choice of the coaches.
Sophomore outside hitter Anezka Szabo was Nebraska’s selection for the sportsmanship award.
See the complete All-Big Ten teams below:
Jacqueline Quade, Sr., Illinois
Katie Myers, So., Maryland
Paige Jones, So., Michigan*
Mackenzi Welsh, Sr., Michigan
CC McGraw, So., Minnesota
Regan Pittman, Jr., Minnesota*
Stephanie Samedy, Jr., Minnesota
Nicklin Hames, So., Nebraska
Lauren Stivrins, Jr., Nebraska*
Lexi Sun, Jr., Nebraska
Kaitlyn Hord, So., Penn State*
Jonni Parker, So., Penn State*
Kendall White, Sr., Penn State*
Grace Cleveland, So., Purdue*
Blake Mohler, Sr., Purdue
Sydney Hilley, Jr., Wisconsin*
Grace Loberg, Jr., Wisconsin
Dana Rettke, Jr., Wisconsin*
* denotes unanimous selection
Ashlyn Fleming, Sr., Illinois
Breana Edwards, So., Indiana
Cori Crocker, Sr., Michigan
Alexis Hart, Sr., Minnesota
Taylor Morgan, Sr., Minnesota
Madi Kubik, Fr., Nebraska
Temi Thomas-Ailara, Fr., Northwestern
Kylie Murr, Fr., Ohio State
Gabby Blossom, So., Penn State
Caitlyn Newton, Jr., Purdue
Madison Duello, Sr., Wisconsin
Molly Haggerty, Jr., Wisconsin
Danielle Hart, So., Wisconsin
Diana Brown, Illinois
May Pertofsky, Michigan
Jessica Robinson, Michigan
Kenzie Knuckles, Nebraska
Madi Kubik, Nebraska
Temi Thomas-Ailara, Northwestern
Jenaisya Moore, Ohio State
Kylie Murr, Ohio State