first_imgThe Wisconsin volleyball team’s regular season success translated into several individual postseason awards, which were announced Tuesday morning.Sophomore setter Lauren Carlini was named the Big Ten Player of the Year in addition to Big Ten Setter of the Year. The Aurora, Illinois native averaged 11.45 assists per set and 0.92 kills per set. She accounted for 41 of Wisconsin’s 132 service aces on the season, while contributing on the defensive-side with 2.89 digs per set.“It was definitely an honor,” Carlini said of receiving the two distinctions.Leading the team in digs with a conference-leading 5.18 per set is junior libero Taylor Morey. In just her first season in the conference after transferring from Notre Dame, she was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after being named Defensive Player of the Week four times throughout the season.“I’m very thankful for the award. I’m very blessed, but at the end of the day we’re working for a national championship and it’s not about the individual awards,” Morey said.Senior right-side hitter Courtney Thomas was named to the All-Big Ten team. She averaged 2.85 kills per set, and her .350 hitting percentage ranked eighth in the Big Ten. Joining Thomas on the All-Big Ten team are Carlini and Morey. Carlini was a unanimous decision by the conference’s coaches and media contingent.“Getting an award, for us, for me, I wouldn’t be able to get the award without my teammates, a great setter and everybody else behind me,” Thomas said.Head coach Kelly Sheffield was honored with the Big Ten Coach of the Year Award in just his second season in Madison. His Badgers stormed through conference play with a 19-1 record and a 28-2 regular season mark. In his time at Wisconsin, he is 56-12.“It meant my staff got a free lunch today,” Sheffield said of his award. “Took them out to lunch and that’s about it. They don’t give those things out to people that finish in last. So would you rather have it or not have it? I don’t know would you rather have success as a team? And those things usually come along with it.”Middle blockers Haleigh Nelson and Dominique Thompson received All-Big Ten honorable mentions. Nelson finished third in the conference in hitting percentage (.387) and sixth in blocks per set (1.24). Thompson finished 10th in hitting percentage (.347) and 12th in blocks (1.09).Other awards for the Badgers included senior Deme Morales, who earned one of 14 Sportsmanship Awards. Freshman Kelli Bates, who is tied for the team lead in kills per set with Ellen Chapman (2.89), was a All-Big Ten Freshman Team selection.The Badgers begin postseason play in their opening-round match of the NCAA Tournament at the UW Field House Thursday night against Western Michigan.last_img