Minn./HopkMinnesota seniors Lindsey Berg (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou) and Stephanie Hagen (Minnetonka, Minn./Hopkins) were among 12 players selected to the 2001 Preseason All-Big Ten Volleyball Team, announced by the conference office Friday. In a vote of Big Ten coaches, the Golden Gophers were listed fourth in the 2001 Big Ten Preseason Volleyball Poll.
Berg, a two-time All-Big Ten and AVCA All-District performer, was second in the country with 0.65 service aces per game and eighth with 14.13 assists per game during the 2000 season. She has led the Big Ten in service aces for the past three seasons and is on pace to become the Big Ten's all-time leader in assists during her senior season. Hagen, a second-team AVCA All American in 2000 and a two-time All-Big Ten selection, led the Big Ten with 1.56 blocks per game and was fourth with a .377 hitting percentage.
Ohio State led the 12-member squad with three players, while Wisconsin, Penn State and Minnesota added two players each. Sherisa Livingston and Lizzy Fitzgerald of Wisconsin, Mishka Levy and Katie Schumacher of Penn State, and Erin Hartley of Michigan State were unanimous choices to the team.
For the fifth consecutive year, Penn State tops the coaches' preseason poll, followed by 2000 Big Ten champion Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Minnesota. All four teams were among the final 16 teams in the 2000 NCAA Volleyball Tournament, with Wisconsin advancing to the final match. Penn State returns five starters and 14 letterwinners from its 2000 team that went 30-6 and advanced to the NCAA regional final.
Minnesota went 30-4 in 2000, setting a school record for wins in the NCAA era, and finished second in the Big Ten with a 17-3 mark. The Gophers will open the 2001 season at the Jefferson Cup Invitational in Charlottesville, Va., against Stanford on Friday, Aug. 31 at 10 a.m. (EDT). Minnesota opens its 14-match schedule at the Sports Pavilion with a non-conference match against Marquette on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m.
2001 Preseason All-Big Ten Volleyball Team
Sara Meyermann, Iowa; Erin Hartley, Michigan State*, Lindsey Berg, MINNESOTA; Stephanie Hagen, MINNESOTA; Erika Lange, Northwestern; Anne Botica, Ohio State; Suzie Stiling, Ohio State; Katie Virtue, Ohio State; Mishka Levy, Penn State*; Katie Schumacher, Penn State*; Lizzy Fitzgerald, Wisconsin*; Sherisa Livingston, Wisconsin*
2001 Big Ten Preseason Volleyball Coaches Poll 1. Penn State 115 7. Illinois 49 2. Wisconsin 110 8. Indiana 46 3. Ohio State 97 9. Purdue 34 4. MINNESOTA 90 10. Iowa 29 5. Michigan State 69 11. Northwestern 27 6. Michigan 60