Five Spartans Earn All-Big Ten Honors
Bailey a Unanimous First Team choice, joined by two-time selection Garvelink on the First Team
East Lansing, MIch. -- The Big Ten announced its post-season All-Conference teams on Tuesday, and Michigan State placed four players on the two teams: Autumn Bailey (Burlington, Ontario) and Alyssa Garvelink (Holland, Mich.) were First Team selections, while Rachel Minarick (Naperville, Ill.) and Holly Toliver (Berrien Springs, Mich.) were Honorable Mention picks. In addition, Abby Monson (Lakeville, Minn.) earned the Sportsmanship Award.
Bailey, Garvelink, and Minarick all earned All-Big Ten honors for the second time in their careers, and Toliver earned her first post-season award. Garvelink is MSU's first two-time First Team selection since Lauren Wicinski in 2012 and 2013 and the ninth player in school history to be named to the first team multiple times. Bailey and Minarick both earned Honorable Mention kudos in 2016.
"I'm thrilled because this is a group of athletes who really dedicated themselves to their game and their team in an effort for us to have the best season possible," noted head coach Cathy George. "We are truly a team that is a product of everyone doing their best to make us a better team, not just to have a strong individual effort. I think the team success means more to them than anything they earn on their own, so they are still focused on the bigger task at hand, the NCAA Tournament. This is such a deserving group, however -- and all are excellent representatives of our program."
A six-rotation OH, Autumn Bailey leads the Spartans with 3.53 kills per frame (seventh, B1G), is hitting .277, and is averaging 3.19 digs per set (11th, B1G). Bailey is the only six-rotation players in the Big Ten ranked in the top 11 in the league in both categories. She has posted 10 double-doubles this season (all in B1G play), exceeding her total from 2016. She has 63 double-doubles in her career. Despite spending just two seasons at MSU, Bailey's 2.92 digs per set in her MSU career ranks ninth all-time in the MSU record book. She is also eighth all-time at MSU in attempts per set (8.92) and 10th in kills per set (3.32).
Nationally, Bailey ranks eighth among active Division I players in kills. She has 1,772 career terminations (which includes 1,059 in her two seasons at Marquette), and she is sixth among active players in career attempts (4,727). She is 21st among active players in kills per set (3.93), and also boasts 1,394 career digs, which is 73rd - but she ranks sixth in career digs among active six-rotation OH. Bailey earned First Team All-B!G EAST honors in 2013 and 2014 at Marquette, making her a three-time First Team All-Conference honoree in her career.
A middle blocker, Alyssa Garvelink currently ranks fourth in the B1G and 31st nationally in the B1G in blocks per set (1.33). Her hitting percentage of .384 ranks fifth in the Conference (29th nationally), and she's contributing 2.55 kills/set. Garvelink just surpassed 1,000 career kills in the Nov. 18 match vs. Indiana - she is the 23rd Spartan to reach the milestone, and is one of just three current Big Ten athletes with 1,000 kills and 500 blocks in their career.
Garvelink is 10th among active NCAA Division I players in total career blocks (536), and is 18th in blocks per set (1.20). She currently ranks fifth all-time at MSU in total blocks (536) and fourth in block assists (480). The middle blocker's career hitting percentage (.304) ranks sixth all-time at MSU, while her 2017 average of .384 would fall sixth in the single-season top-10 list. Her 1.20 blocks per set average over four years is fifth all-time at MSU, and ranks eighth among active Division I players.
Setter Rachel Minarick averages 11.14 assists (fourth, B1G/25th nationally), 0.37 aces (third, B1G/77th nationally), and 2.34 digs per set. Her senior-year numbers are the best in any season of her MSU career. She owns 4,411 career helpers, second all-time at MSU behind Nikki Colson (4,563, 2000-03). She is 37th on the All-Time Big Ten list, and ranks 12th among active NCAA Division I players in total career assists. She needs 153 assists to become MSU's all-time leader.
Minarick has 131 career service aces, which is just outside the top 10 all-time in program history. She has had 40+ assists in 10 of 20 Big Ten matches, including a career-best 58 in MSU's home victory over Michigan on Oct. 18.
Six-rotation OH Holly Toliver ranks third on the team in kills per set (2.98) and is fourth in hitting percentage (.244). She is contributing 2.22 digs and 0.55 blocks per frame, while ranking second in the B1G and 39th nationally in service aces per set (0.41). She boasts career-best numbers in kills, hitting percentage, aces, assists, digs, and blocks. She also owns 119 aces over four seasons.
Abby Monson is a four-year contributor to the Spartan volleyball program as a standout back-row specialist. She is second on the team in reception percentage, with just five errors in 155 chances (.968). She has appeared in 130 career matches for the Spartans, and has been a solid representative of the Spartan volleyball program in the classroom, in the community, and on the court. She will graduate next December with a degree in Advertising.
Minarick and Alyssa Garvelink are both CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees, as announced on Thursday, Nov. 16. Minarick, a 3.97 GPA as a Kinesiology major, is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honoree, and last year earned CoSIDA Academic All-Region kudos as well. Garvelink is a two-time Academic All-B1G honoree who owns a 3.36 GPA as a Communications major.
2017 ALL-BIG TEN*
Ali Bastianelli, Jr., MB, Illinois
Jordyn Poulter, Jr., S, Illinois
Carly Skjodt, Jr., OH, Michigan
AUTUMN BAILEY, Sr., OH, Michigan State
Alyssa Garvelink, Sr., MB, Michigan State
Alexis Hart, So., OH, Minnesota
STEPHANIE SAMEDY, Fr., OPP, Minnesota
SAMANTHA SELIGER-SWENSON, Jr., S, Minnesota
Annika Albrecht, Sr., OH, Nebraska
MIKAELA FOECKE, Jr., OH, Nebraska
KELLY HUNTER, Sr., S, Nebraska
Symone Abbott, Sr., OH, Northwestern
SIMONE LEE, Sr., OH, Penn State
HALEIGH WASHINGTON, Sr., MB, Penn State
Kendall White, So., L, Penn State
SHERRIDAN ATKINSON, Jr., OPP, Purdue
DANIELLE CUTTINO, Sr., OH, Purdue
DANA RETTKE, Fr., MB, Wisconsni
Tionna Williams, Jr., MB, Wisconsin
*Additional First Team honorees due to ties
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, Michigan
Rachel Minarick, Sr., S, Michigan State
Holly Toliver, Sr., OPP, Michigan State
Briana Holman, Sr., MB, Nebraska
Ashley Wenz, Sr., OH, Ohio State
Heidi Thelen, Sr., RS, Penn State
Megan Cooney, OH, Illinois
STEPHANIE SAMEDY, OPP, Minnesota
Jazz Sweet, OH, Nebraska
Lauren Stivrins, MB, Nebraska
Nia Robinson, OH, Northwestern
Sydney Hilley, S, Wisconsin
DANA RETTKE, MB, Wisconsin
Unanimous selections in ALL CAPS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Simone Lee, Penn State
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Haleigh Washington, Penn State
SETTER OF THE YEAR: Kelly Hunter, Nebraska
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Dana Rettke, Wisconsin
COACH OF THE YEAR (COACHES:) John Cook, Nebraska
COACH OF THE YEAR (MEDIA): Russ Rose, Penn State
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
Beth Prince, Illinois; Jessica Admire, Indiana; Annika Olsen, Iowa; Liz Twilley, Maryland; Maddy Abbott, Michigan; Abby Monson, Michigan State; Molly Lohman, Minnesota; Sydney Townsend, Nebraska; Gabrielle Hazen,Northwestern; Kalisha Goree,Ohio State ; Carissa Damler, Purdue; Lainy Pierce, Penn State; Karysa Swackenberg, Rutgers; Lauryn Gillis, Wisconsin.