Rettke named Big Ten Freshman of the Year; All-Big Ten

MADISON, Wis. – After setting a Big Ten Conference record with nine Freshman of the Week awards, it was no surprise when Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year for 2017. The conference office announced the coaches’ award list on Tuesday afternoon.
A 6-8 middle blocker, Rettke becomes the fifth Badger to earn the rookie honor, following teammate Molly Haggerty, who was honored in 2016. Rettke was also a unanimous pick to the All-Big Ten team, joining junior Tionna Williams on the squad. Rettke and Sydney Hilley were named to the All-Freshman team while senior Lauryn Gillis received the team’s Sportsmanship Award.

On the season, Rettke leads the Badgers and ranks second in the Big Ten with a .445 hitting percentage. She also leads the team and ranks 13th in the conference with 3.37 kills per set. The freshman has a team-best 1.42 blocks per set, which ranks third in the Big Ten. The Riverside, Illinois, native leads all Big Ten freshmen in hitting percentage and blocks per set while ranking third in kills per set.

Williams, a 6-2 middle blocker, earns her second-straight, first-team All-Big Ten award. She ranks second on the Badgers and third in the Big Ten with a .396 hitting percentage. A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Williams is also second on the team with 1.04 blocks per set while adding 2.46 kills per set.
The Badgers landed two players on the Big Ten All-Freshman team for the fourth time since the award was begun in 1999.

Rettke was a unanimous pick to the team while Hilley was also named to the seven-player honor team. The 6-0 setter ranks second in the Big Ten with 11.64 assists per set. Hilley, from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, also ranks second on the Badgers with 22 service aces while adding 2.10 digs and 0.66 blocks per set.

Gillis was recognized for her sportsmanship for the season. The 6-1 outside hitter picked up her 1,000th career kill at Indiana on Nov. 10. She ranks second on the team with 2.69 kills per set.

Wisconsin makes its 21st NCAA tournament appearance, traveling to Ames, Iowa, for the first and second rounds of the 2017 championship this weekend. The Badgers (20-9) face Marquette (22-9) in the first round on Friday at 4 p.m. from Hilton Coliseum. No. 14-seed Iowa State (21-6) faces Princeton (18-7) in the other first-round match at 7 p.m. on Friday. First-round winners play in the second round on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. for the right to advance to regional play.

2017 All-Big Ten Volleyball Awards
ALL-BIG TEN*
Ali Bastianelli, Jr., MB, ILL
Jordyn Poulter, Jr., S, ILL
Carly Skjodt, Jr., OH, MICH
AUTUMN BAILEY, Sr., OH, MSU
Alyssa Garvelink, Sr., MB, MSU
Alexis Hart, So., OH, MINN
STEPHANIE SAMEDY, Fr., OPP, MINN
SAMANTHA SELIGER-SWENSON, Jr., S, MINN
Annika Albrecht, Sr., OH, NEB
MIKAELA FOECKE, Jr., OH, NEB
KELLY HUNTER, Sr., S, NEB
Symone Abbott, Sr., OH, NU
SIMONE LEE, Sr., OH, PSU
HALEIGH WASHINGTON, Sr., MB, PSU
Kendall White, So., L, PSU
SHERRIDAN ATKINSON, Jr., OPP, PUR
DANIELLE CUTTINO, Sr., OH, PUR
DANA RETTKE, Fr., MB, WIS
Tionna Williams, Jr., MB, WIS

*Additional honorees due to ties

HONORABLE MENTION
Jess Janota, Sr., MB, IOWA
Taylor Louis, Jr., OH, IOWA
Annika Olsen, Sr., L, IOWA
Hailey Murray, Sr., MB, MD
Claire Kieffer-Wright, Sr., MB, MICH
Rachel Minarick, Sr., S, MSU
Holly Toliver, Sr., OPP, MSU
Briana Holman, Sr., MB, NEB
Ashley Wenz, Sr., OH, OSU
Heidi Thelen, Sr., RS, PSU

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Megan Cooney, OH, ILL
STEPHANIE SAMEDY, OPP, MINN
Jazz Sweet, OH, NEB
Lauren Stivrins, MB, NEB
Nia Robinson, OH, NU
Sydney Hilley, S, WIS
DANA RETTKE, MB, WIS

Unanimous selections in ALL CAPS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Simone Lee, PSU

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Haleigh Washington, PSU

SETTER OF THE YEAR
Kelly Hunter, NEB

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Dana Rettke, WIS

COACH OF THE YEAR (COACHES)
John Cook, NEB

COACH OF THE YEAR (MEDIA)
Russ Rose, PSU

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
Beth Prince, ILL
Jessica Admire, IND
Annika Olsen, IOWA
Liz Twilley, MD
Maddy Abbott, MICH
Abby Monson, MSU
Molly Lohman, MINN
Sydney Townsend, NEB
Gabrielle Hazen, NU
Kalisha Goree, OSU
Carissa Damler, PUR
Lainy Pierce, PSU
Karysa Swackenberg, RU
Lauryn Gillis, WIS