NU volleyball vs. Michigan State, 10/4

Nebraska’s Kelly Hunter (top center), Lauren Stivrins (left) and Sydney Townsend (right) celebrate their four-set win over Michigan State with their teammates Mikaela Foecke (bottom left), Kenzie Maloney (bottom center) and Annika Albrecht in October. Hunter, Foecke and Albrecht, along with Briana Holman, earned North Region honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

FRANCIS GARDLER, JOURNAL STAR FILE PHOTO

Nebraska senior setter Kelly Hunter was named the player of the year in the North Region of the country by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Joining Hunter on the 14-player All-North Region team announced Tuesday are Nebraska’s Annika Albrecht, Briana Holman and Mikaela Foecke.

Wichita State head coach Chris Lamb was named the coach of the year in the North Region, while Minnesota's Stephanie Samedy was named the freshman of the year.

Making the all-region team makes the players eligible for All-America honors, which will be announced next week. There are 33 NCAA Division I teams in the North Region, including seven from the Big Ten Conference.

Hunter is a three-year starter from Papillion who has set the Huskers to a national championship and two Big Ten titles during her career. After missing the first two matches of the 2017 season with an injury, Hunter returned to lead the Huskers to 28 wins in the last 30 matches with 10.79 assists and 2.65 digs per set. Hunter has a team-high 13 double-doubles this season and has climbed to third in career assists at NU with 3,960.

Holman earned her fourth career AVCA all-region accolade and second as a Husker after beginning her career at LSU. Holman, who also received All-Big Ten honorable mention honors this season, leads the Huskers in the middle with 2.42 kills per set and a team-best .352 hitting percentage. She also had a team-high 1.13 blocks per set.

Foecke, a three-time all-region honoree who this year earned her first career All-Big Ten selection, has produced all over the court for the Huskers in her first season as a full-time six-rotation player. Foecke leads NU in kills with 3.46 per set and adds 2.27 digs per set. Foecke has sparked Nebraska's current 15-match win streak, posting double-digit kills in 10 of the 15 wins.

Albrecht, a Husker co-captain from North Aurora, Illinois, has had a breakout season as a six-rotation outside hitter to earn her first AVCA All-Region honor and first All-Big Ten honor. Albrecht is one of the Huskers' most versatile weapons with 3.03 kills and 2.73 digs per set, along with 30 ace serves.

Creighton had four players chosen for the All-East team: setter Lydia Dimke, middle blocker Marysa Wilkinson, outside hitter Jaali Winters and libero Brittany Witt. Wilkinson is a Lincoln Southwest graduate.

In the Midwest Region, Omaha North grad and Iowa State senior Samara West was chosen.

Former Nebraska player and assistant coach Dani Busboom Kelly is the coach of the year for the East Region. She led Louisville to the NCAA Tournament in her first season as head coach. With a 24-7 final record, Louisville doubled its win total from the previous season. Busboom Kelly led the Cardinals to the ACC championship after being picked eighth in the preseason coaches poll.

North Region team: Symone Abbott, Northwestern, OH, sr.; Annika Albrecht, Nebraska, OH, sr.; Autumn Bailey, Michigan State, OH, sr.; Mikaela Foecke, Nebraska, OH, jr.; Alyssa Garvelink, Michigan State, MB, sr.; Alexis Hart, Minnesota, OH, so.; Briana Holman, Nebraska, MB, sr.; Kelly Hunter, Nebraska, S, sr.; Abbie Lehman, Wichita State, MB, sr.; Rachel Minarick, Michigan State, S, sr.; Courtney Pence, Illinois State, L, jr.; Stephanie Samedy, Minnesota, RS, fr.; Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Minnesota, S, jr.; Carly Skjodt, Michigan, OH, jr.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7435 or bwagner@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsWagner.

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Sports reporter

Brent has worked at the Journal Star for 14 years. His beats include Nebraska volleyball, women's basketball and high school soccer and cross country.

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