The 12-member first-team was dominated by players from Big 12 co-champions Nebraska and Texas. The two schools combined for 10 of the 12 spots with both schools claiming five spots apiece. Nebraska's five first-team picks matched a school record originally set in 2001.
The awards were headed by Pavan, who was chosen as the Big 12 Player of the Year for the third consecutive season, and Houghtelling, who was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Rachel Holloway, Jordan Larson and Tracy Stalls joined Pavan and Houghtelling as first-team selections.
Pavan becomes the first player in school history to become a three-time conference player of the year. On the season, the 6-foot-5 senior paced the Big 12 with 4.93 kills per game, while topping all league players in service aces (0.53) and points per game (5.87). She ended the regular season ranked ninth in hitting percentage (.348) while recording four matches with at least 20 kills, highlighted by a 31-kill performance at Kansas State on Nov. 3. Pavan is just the second player in school history to be a four-time first-team all-conference pick, joining Greichaly Cepero, who accomplished the feat from 1999 to 2002.
Houghtelling becomes the third straight Husker to win or share the league's top defensive honor while earning first-team All-Big 12 laurels for the second time in her career. On the year, she averaged 3.18 kills on .316 hitting and a team-high 4.05 digs per game. She ranks seventh in the league in digs and paces all non-liberos in that category. Houghtelling is tied for the team-lead with 10 double-doubles. She turned in one of her best defensive performances of the year at Kansas State, recording a career-high 26 digs and four blocks as NU fought back from a 0-2 deficit to top the Wildcats.
Holloway was chosen for the All-Big 12 team for the second straight campaign after guiding the Huskers to one of their most prolific offensive seasons in school history. NU enters the NCAA Tournament leading the country in both kills (18.00) and assists (16.63) per game and ranked third in hitting percentage (.330). On the year, she is averaging 13.73 assists, 2.28 digs and 0.98 kills per game to rank second in the Big 12 and eighth nationally in assists per game. She has helped NU hit .300 or better in 22 matches, including a season-best .500 in a sweep of Baylor on Sept. 29.
Larson collects her second first-team all-conference award as she enters the NCAA Tournament averaging 3.46 kills, 3.28 digs and 0.48 service aces per game. She finished the regular season ranked second in aces (0.46) and ninth in points per game (4.33). Larson, who is two digs away from becoming just the third Husker to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs, also has 10 double-doubles on the year. Her best performance of the year came in win over Missouri on Oct. 31, when she had 17 kills and 16 digs.
Stalls is honored for the second straight year, as the senior middle blocker anchors NU's attack. She leads the Big 12 and ranks third nationally in hitting percentage (.472), averaging 2.79 kills and a team-high 1.09 blocks per game. She is on pace to become only the second Husker to ever hit .400 or better in consecutive seasons. Stalls, who has reached double figures in kills nine times, has hit .800 or better twice this season, including an NCAA record-tying 1.000 hitting percentage on 13 swings against Texas Tech on Nov. 24.
Player of the Year:
Sarah Pavan, Nebraska, RS, 6-5, Sr., Kitchener, Ontario/Forest Heights Collegiate
Newcomer of the Year:
Nataly Korobkova, Kansas State OH, Jr., 6-3, Krasnoyarsk, Russia/State Siberian Technological
Freshman of the Year:
Juliann Faucette, Texas, OH, 6-2, San Diego, Calif./Westview
DEFENSIVE PLAYER of the Year:
Christina Houghtelling, Nebraska, OH, Sr., 6-2, Cambridge, Neb./Cambridge
LIBERO of the Year:
Angie Lastra, Kansas State, L, Sr., 5-6, Carolina, Puerto Rico/Carvin School
coach of the Year:
Jerritt Elliott, Texas
ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM
Name, School Pos. Cl. Ht. Hometown/Previous School
Erin Boeve, Iowa State OH/MB Sr. 6-2 Steen, Minn./Hills-Beaver Creek
Nataly Korobkova, Kansas State OH Jr. 6-3 Krasnoyarsk, Russia
State Siberian Technological
Rachel Holloway, Nebraska S So. 5-10 Franklin, Tenn./Smoky Hill (Colo.)
Christina Houghtelling, Nebraska OH Sr. 6-2 Cambridge, Neb./Cambridge
Jordan Larson, Nebraska OH Jr. 6-2 Hooper, Neb./Logan View
Sarah Pavan, Nebraska RS Sr. 6-5 Kitchener, Ontario
/Forest Heights Collegiate Institute
Tracy Stalls, Nebraska MB Sr. 6-3 Denver, Colo./Lakewood
Ashley Engle, Texas OPP So. 6-3 Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza
Juliann Faucette, Texas OH Fr. 6-2 San Diego, Calif./Westview
Destinee Hooker, Texas OH So. 6-4 San Antonio, Texas/Southwest
Michelle Moriarty, Texas S Sr. 5-10 Houston, Texas/Stratford
Lauren Paolini, Texas MB Jr. 6-5 Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline
ALL-BIG 12 HONORABLE MENTION
Name, School Pos. Cl. Ht. Hometown/Previous School
Megan Farr, Kansas State MB Jr. 5-10 Manhattan, Kan./Manhattan
Angie Lastra, Kansas State L Sr. 5-6 Carolina, Puerto Rico/Carvin School
Stacey Spiegelberg, K-State S Sr. 6-0 Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest
Na Yang, Missouri OH Sr. 6-3 Shan Dong, China/Shan Dong Sports
Sarah Weiland, Oklahoma OH Sr. 6-0 Pflugerville, Texas/Tulane University
Brandy Magee, Texas MB Sr. 6-2 Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley
BIG 12 ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Name, School Pos. Ht. Hometown/Previous School
Ashlie Christenson, Baylor OH 6-0 Cleburne, Texas/Cleburne
Sarah Grace, Baylor L 5-9 Houston, Texas/Stratford
Ashley Mass, Iowa State L 5-8 Muskego, Wis./Muskego
Weiwen Wang, Missouri MB 6-0 Nanjing, China/Jiangsu Education Institute
Francie Ekwerekwu, Oklahoma MB 5-11 Arlington, Texas/Arlington
Juliann Faucette, Texas OH 6-2 San Diego, Calif./Westview