Liz McMahon Named Big Ten Player of the Week
Sept. 1, 2014
Rosemont, Ill. - Illinois senior Liz McMahon was named the first Big Ten Player of the Week for 2014 after a spectacular performance at the Illini Classic. It is the first career weekly honor for the senior from Liberty Township, Ohio, and the first Player of the Week honor for an Illini since Sept. 17, 2012, when then-redshirt freshman Jocelynn Birks led Illinois to a sweep of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational.
McMahon helped the No. 11 Illini to a sweep of the Illini Classic without dropping a set, leading Illinois past Long Beach State, Southern Illinois and No. 20 North Carolina. The opposite hitter was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, after leading all players with a .426 hitting percentage on the weekend. She opened the year by hitting .471 with 10 kills and five blocks against Long Beach State, then registered four blocks and six kills without committing an error against the nationally-ranked Tar Heels.
The Big Ten also gave out three additional weekly awards, each going to a player from a different team. Wisconsin libero Taylor Morey took home the first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award after leading the Badgers to 3-0 victories over Louisville and Notre Dame at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Morey averaged 5.2 digs per set and did not commit a reception error all weekend.
Purdue senior Val Nichol claimed Big Ten Setter of the Week honors after guiding the Boilermakers to straight-set victories over USF, No. 14 San Diego and LSU. Nichol dished out 10.44 assists, 3.33 digs and 1.33 kills per set, hitting .524 on the weekend, and tabbing a double-double against San Diego.
Penn State outside hitter Ali Frantti captured the remaining award, earning her first-ever Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor. Frantti earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the Penn State Classic, leading the Nittany Lions with 3.44 kills and 1.11 blocks per set, hitting at least .450 in all three matches.
The Illini hit the road this weekend for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge in Palo Alto, Calif. Illinois kicks off the weekend with a neutral-site match against UCLA on Friday, Sept. 5, at 10:30 p.m. CT, then takes on host No. 2 Stanford at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7. Both matches will air live on the Pac-12 Network.