John Cook named Big Ten coach of the year; Four Huskers receive all-conference honors

John Cook named Big Ten coach of the year; Four Huskers receive all-conference honors
World-Herald News Service

Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook was named the Big Ten coach of the year, and libero Justine Wong-Orantes is the conference’s defensive player of the year.

The Huskers also had four players selected to the All-Big Ten team. Wong-Orantes joins Kadie Rolfzen as unanimous selections, while Kelly Hunter and Amber Rolfzen were also named to the 18-member team by league coaches.

The four All-Big Ten selections were the most by any team in the conference and are Nebraska’s most since 2008, when the Huskers were members of the Big 12.

Wong-Orantes, who also won defensive player of the year last year, is the Big Ten’s first repeat winner since Michigan State’s Kori Moster in 2012 and ’13. Wong-Orantes set the Nebraska school record this season for career digs and ranked second in the conference with 4.22 digs per set.

Kadie Rolfzen is now the third Husker all-time to receive four first-team all-conference selections — Sarah Pavan and Greichaly Cepero are the others. Rolfzen currently sits seventh in school history in career kills and digs.

This is the second All-Big Ten selection for her sister, Amber Rolfzen. She ranked third in the Big Ten in blocks this season.

Hunter received her first all-conference selection after placing third in the Big Ten with an average of 11.24 assists per set.

Mikaela Foecke and Briana Holman also received honorable mention.

For Cook, this is his first Big Ten coach of the year award since 1997, when he won it while at Wisconsin. He was a four-time Big 12 coach of the year prior to Nebraska’s move to the Big Ten in 2011.

Cook leads the No. 1 national seed Huskers into the NCAA tournament with a first-round match Friday against New Hampshire.

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