Concordia grad Tionna Williams honored by Big Ten

Courtesy: University of Wisconsin

MADISON, Wisc. – Junior Tionna Williams and sophomore Molly Haggerty of the Wisconsin volleyball team were named to the 15-player Preseason All-Big Ten Conference team, the league office announced on Tuesday. In addition, the Badgers were picked to finish fifth in the 2017 conference race, according to a vote of league coaches.

Haggerty, a 6-1 outside hitter, is the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She led the Badgers and ranked seventh in the conference with 3.41 kills per set last season. The Glen Ellyn, Illinois, native recorded double-figure kills in 18 matches and 20-plus kills in five matches. Haggerty had nine double-doubles on the season as she averaged 2.44 digs per set. Haggerty earned third-team All-America honors by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and second-team honors by Volleyball Magazine.  She was named the AVCA Northeast Region Freshman of the Year and was a five-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week in 2016.

A 6-2 middle blocker, Williams led the Badgers and ranked sixth in the Big Ten with 1.27 blocks per set as a sophomore. She also ranked second on the team with a .326 hitting percentage, ranking 11th in the conference. Williams added 2.27 kills per game, which ranked fourth in the squad. A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Williams was a third-team AVCA All-American and a member of the 2016 All-Big Ten team. She was also a three-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week in 2016.

Wisconsin was picked fifth in the preseason coaches’ poll. Penn State was picked to win the 2017 Big Ten title followed by Nebraska, Minnesota and Michigan State, respectively.

2017 PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN VOLLEYBALL TEAM*

Name School Yr. Position  
Ali Bastianelli Illinois Jr. MB
Jordyn Poulter Illinois Jr. S
Claire Kieffer-Wright Michigan Sr. MB
Alyssa Garvelink Michigan State Sr. MB
Alexis Hart Minnesota So. OH
Molly Lohman Minnesota Sr. MB
SAMANTHA SELIGER-SWENSON Minnesota Jr. S
MIKAELA FOECKE Nebraska Jr. OH
Kelly Hunter Nebraska Sr. S
Ali Frantti Penn State Sr. OH
Simone Lee Penn State Sr. OH
Haleigh Washington Penn State Sr. MB
Danielle Cuttino Purdue Sr. OH
Molly Haggerty Wisconsin So. OH
Tionna Williams Wisconsin Jr. MB


*Additional honorees due to ties

UNANIMOUS SELECTIONS IN CAPS

2017 BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL

  1. Penn State
  2. Nebraska
  3. Minnesota
  4. Michigan State
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Purdue
  7. Michigan
  8. Ohio State
  9. Illinois
  10. Iowa
  11. Maryland
  12. Northwestern
  13. Indiana
  14. Rutgers