Nicole Kump won the Sandy Scholtens award at the Networkers Banquet
Jan. 22, 2010
Champaign, Ill. - Juniors Nicole Kump and Johannah Bangert and freshman Erin Johnson received special awards at the annual Networker's Volleyball Awards Banquet. The team also honored its two graduating seniors - Kylie McCulley and Ashley Edinger.
Bangert earned the Jim Bayne Award for Academic Excellence. The middle blocker shined on and off the court, earning First Team Academic All-District as well as Academic All-Big Ten accolades while leading the nation in blocks (1.58 bps) for the second straight year. Bangert was named All-Big Ten while also claiming Honorable Mention All-Mideast Region and Honorable Mention All-America honors. Her 179 blocks this season are third best in school history while her 492 career blocks are fifth best and within striking distance of the all-time school record. Bangert was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week twice, both while tying the school block assists record with 13 vs. both Purdue and Wisconsin.
Kump claimed the Sandy Scholtens Award. Named after the former Illini great, the Scholtens Award honors the player that best combines effort and attitude with athletic achievement. Kump regularly came into matches late in sets to add a third blocker at the net, contributing a key block in the deciding set at Wisconsin. She was also an Academic All-Big Ten selection.
Johnson earned the Jimmy and Jeane Seyler Top Gun award given to the player with the highest attack percentage. An All-Big Ten Freshman Team selection, Johnson hit .314 with113 kills. She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week after hitting .536 with 18 kills and three blocks in wins at Indiana and Purdue and hit .455 with six kills and three blocks in the NCAA Regional Match with Hawaii. She was also named to the All-Tournament Team at the New Mexico State Tournament.
The Illinois volleyball family honored its two seniors - Edinger and McCulley. Edinger finishes her career as Illinois' all-time digs leader with 1,921, a figure that also ranks ninth in Big Ten history. She earned her fifth career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor on Oct. 19 after tallying 19 digs in straight set victories over both Northwestern and No. 6 Minnesota. She has six of the top ten digs matches in school history. McCulley, meanwhile, surpassed the 1,000-kill plateau with 14 kills vs. Minnesota and ended her career with 1,051 kills. The Academic All-Big Ten selection ranked 10th in the Big Ten in kills per set during conference matches and was named to the All-Tournament State at the State Farm Illini Classic.
Illinois posted a 26-6 overall record in 2008 and finished in sole possession of second place in the Big Ten with 16-4 conference mark. The Illini reached the Sweet 16 for the 18th time in school history and return six of the eight regulars next season.