In a move that took me by surprise, the Big East announced the volleyball postseason awards in the middle of the day today instead of during a traditional evening banquet.
What didn't take me by surprise was Marquette dominating the awards. Senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein was named Big East Player of the Year, freshman outside hitter Autumn Bailey won Freshman of the Year, and Marquette's coaching staff of head coach Bond Shymansky, assistant coaches Jason Allen and Jackie Simpson, and volunteer assistant coach Evan Muys won Coaching Staff of the Year.
I predicted all of this accurately in our traditional award predictions post, because it was all pretty obvious to even a casual observer.
Moving back to the major awards, the only one I didn't get right was Libero of the Year. I elected to spotlight Butler's Brooke Ruffolo for being the best libero on a team that qualified for the four team Big East tournament, where the league's coaches merely went with the libero with the best per set digs average. I should have known better than to trust them to make a nuanced decision. In any case, congratulations to Seton Hall's Alyssa Warren on her award.
Here's the Big East's official all-conference First Team:
Belle Obert, OH, Butler
Erica Stahl, MB, Butler
Kelli Browning, MB, Creighton
Leah McNary, OH, Creighton
Autumn Bailey, OH, Marquette
Elizabeth Koberstein, S, Marquette
Meghan Niemann, MB, Marquette
Karin Palgutova, OH, St. John's
Alyssa Warren, L, Seton Hall
Abbey Bessler, OH, Xavier
Alex Smith, MB, Xavier
Aubree Smith, S, Xavier
At least they had the common decency to put the Libero of the Year on the First Team this year unlike last year. It looks like this was pretty easy to figure out this year, as I had eight of the 12 players correct in my predictions. One miss was obviously Warren, as I gave her spot to Ruffolo. The Big East's coaches decided that Meghan Niemann's accuracy at the net (third best hitting percentage in the conference) was more valuable than Lindsey Gosh's accuracy from the service stripe (8th best service ace average in the country), so I guess I can't really fault them there.
I also missed on Xavier's Aubree Smith and Butler's Erica Stahl. I did consider both of them, Smith for being the best setter not named Koberstein, and Stahl for all around play. In their place, I had Aleksandra Wachowicz from St. John's for finishing third in the Big East in kills and Villanova's Lauren Carpenter for her spot as 5th best in kills and 7th best in total points per set. Both Wachowicz and Carpenter also got nods from me in an effort to balance out the first team with players that didn't qualify for the Big East tournament. You'll see in a minute that I missed badly on Carpenter, which seems very weird.
We'll wrap up with the all-Big East second Team listing.
Morgan Peterson, S, Butler
Michelle Sicner, S, Creighton
Abbie Fleener, RS, DePaul
Danielle White, MB, Georgetown
Lindsey Gosh, RS, Marquette
Julie Jeziorowski, L, Marquette
Aleksandra Wachowicz, OH, St. John's
Shelbey Manthorpe, S, Seton Hall
Stacey Manthorpe, OH, Seton Hall
Mariah Henley, L, Villanova
Gabby Pethokoukis, MB, Villanova
Alex Blair, MB, Xavier