Aug 16, 2013
East Lansing, Mich. - - Michigan State was selected fifth in the 2013 Big Ten preseason volleyball poll as voted on by the Big Ten coaches, it was announced on Friday by the Conference office. Defending Big Ten Champion Penn State was chosen as the conference favorite, as the Nittany Lions top the poll for the eighth time in the last nine seasons.
The Spartans return two All-Americans and two All-Big Ten selections from a year ago, and also brought in the No. 7 class in the country, as selected by PrepVolleyball.com. The Spartans open their season on Sept. 30 at the Virginia Tech Invitational.
Minnesota, which finished tied for second in the Big Ten in 2012, was selected to finish in the same spot this season. Michigan was picked to finish third, while Nebraska, which finished the 2012 conference season tied with Minnesota for second place, was tabbed fourth in the voting. MSU and Illinois round out the poll at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.
Additionally, conference coaches selected a Preseason All-Big Ten Team, which features three unanimous selections and seven returning members. Michigan State's Lauren Wicinski, Minnesota's Tori Dixon and Penn State's Ariel Scott were unanimous selections. Wicinski was a unanimous All-Big Ten pick last year and was a second team AVCA All-America pick; Dixon was honored for the third consecutive season, while Scott earned preseason recognition for the second year in a row.
Pre-Season All-Big Ten Team
Jocelynn Birks, Illinois (So., OH)
Liz McMahon, Illinois (Jr., OH)
Jennifer Cross, Michigan (Sr., MB)
Lexi Dannemiller, Michigan (Jr., S)
Lexi Erwin, Michigan (Sr., OH)
Lauren Wicinski, Michigan State (Sr., OH)
TORI DIXON, Minnesota (Sr., MB)
Ashley Wittman, Minnesota (Sr., OH)
Stephanie Holthus, Northwestern (Sr., OH)
Megan Courtney, Penn State (So., S/OH)
Micha Hancock, Penn State (Jr., S)
Deja McClendon, Penn State (Sr., OH)
ARIEL SCOTT, Penn State (Sr., RS)
Katie Slay, Penn State (Sr., MH)