Poulter earns Big Ten honor

Poulter earns Big Ten honor

CHAMPAIGN — Jordyn Poulter has kept the Illinois attack on point even as the rotation changed the past two weeks. The Illini's offensive improvements in a pair top 25 wins this past weekend in Seattle helped the senior setter claim the fourth weekly conference honor of her career after she was named Big Ten Co-Setter of the Week on Tuesday.

Poulter averaged 12.14 assists per set as Illinois knocked off No. 21 Colorado and No. 13 Washington in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. She finished the weekend with 85 total assists, 12 digs, 11 blocks and nine kills while the No. 11 Illini hit .304 as a team.

Poulter shared Big Ten Setter of the Week honors with Wisconsin's Sydney Hilley. The Badgers' sophomore was the MVP of the HotelRED Invitational and averaged 11.88 assists and 2.75 digs per set as Wisconsin beat No. 2 Texas and High Point.

Wisconsin also had the Big Ten Player of the Week. Sophomore outside hitter Grace Loberg — a two-time News-Gazette All-State First Team selection out of Geneva — had 19 kills and 18 digs in the Badgers' win against the Longhorns and averaged 4.75 kills and 4.5 digs per set in the two matches.

Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors went to Purdue's Brooke Peters after the senior libero had a career high 30 digs against Notre Dame. Rutgers setter Inna Balyko claimed Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors after averaging 10.21 assists per set to go wtih 14 total blocks in a 3-1 weekend for the Scarlet Knights.

Poulter currently ranks third in the Big Ten averaging 11.2 assists per set behind Michigan MacKenzie Welsh (11.53) and Purdue's Hayley Bush (11.47). She's also averaging 2.3 digs for the season.

Illinois (5-0) will return to action Friday at the Cleveland State Invitational. The Illini face Bowling Green at 8:30 a.m. and play Cleveland State at 6 p.m. that day before wrapping up tournament action with a 10 a.m. Saturday match against UC Irvine.