INDIANAPOLIS -- Milwaukee senior Julie Kolinske has been named the Horizon League’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Green Bay junior Jillian Bauer has been named the conference’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year after voting of the league’s eight head coaches. The coaches were not allowed to vote for players on their own team.
Kolinske was an All-League honoree last season after helping lead the Panthers to the Horizon League title. The outside hitter reached double-figures in kills 20 times, including a pair of 20-plus outings, while accumulating 343 kills on the season to lead the Horizon League. She 31 kills in Milwaukee’s two tournament wins as she was named to the All-Tournament team.
Bauer made her presence felt in her first season with the Phoenix last year as she led the Horizon League and finished 31st in the country in digs per set with a 5.07 average. She had 563 digs on the season to rank fourth on the single-season list at Green Bay. She posted a career-high 36 digs in a win at Cleveland State on Nov. 15 and was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week once during the year.
Kolinske is joined on the preseason All-League team by Valparaiso senior Morgan Beil, Cleveland State senior Maggie Hannon, Green Bay sophomore Shannon Hurley, Oakland junior Cassie Pelloni, Milwaukee junior Kayla Price and UIC senior Sara Jo Sternard.
Beil, a three-time All-League selection, ranked fourth in the league and led the Crusaders with a .296 hitting percentage last season. The mark was fourth-best in a single season in program history. She ranked third on the team in kills (294, 2.41/set) and in blocks (70, 0.57/set) and reached double figures in kills 13 times.
Hannon was named to the All-League Team after finishing her junior season ranked second in the League with a .344 hitting percentage (297-85-642), sixth in kills, averaging 3.05 per set, and seventh in blocks, averaging 1.01 per set. She was honored last season as both a HL Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week.
Hurley earned the Freshman of the Year award last season after finishing the regular season with a League-best 3.34 kill per set average.
Pelloni led the Golden Grizzlies and ranked second in the League last season with 329 kills as she earned All-League honors. She also contributed 45 blocks and 43 digs for Oakland.
Price, the 2011 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year, led the HL in assists last season, averaging 10.85 per set. The junior has 2,744 assists for her career and is on track to rank in the top-10 in the HL record books for career assists.
Sternard led UIC with 329 kills and ranked fifth in the Horizon League with a .293 attack percentage and sixth with 3.02 kills per set. During League play, she ranked fifth in the conference with 3.20 kills per set. She recorded double-digit kills on 18 occasions ..
The volleyball season begins Friday, Aug. 29. The Horizon League Tournament will feature the top six teams in the league and will run from Nov. 21-23, with all matches played at the venue of the No. 1 seed.
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Jillian Bauer, Green Bay (Jr., L)
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Julie Kolinske, Milwaukee (Sr., OH)
Preseason All-League Team
Morgan Beil, Valparaiso (Sr., MH/RS)
Maggie Hannon, Cleveland State (Sr., MH)
Shannon Hurley, Green Bay (So., OH)
Julie Kolinske, Milwaukee (Sr., OH)
Cassie Pelloni, Oakland (Jr., OH)
Kayla Price, Milwaukee (Jr., S)
Sara Jo Sternard, UIC (Sr., MB)