CHICAGO — Illinois recruit Ali Stark was named Gatorade Iowa Volleyball Player of the Year.
The senior outside hitter led Mount Vernon High School to a 41-0 record and the Class 3A state title this season. The 6-foot-1 Stark recorded 324 kills, 232 digs, 66 service aces and 62 blocks for the Mustangs.
Stark previously was selected to the 2010-11 Under Armour All-America first team and was named the state Player of the Year by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association.
Men’s gymnasts picked second. The Illini men’s gymnastics team was selected second by conference coaches in the Big Ten preseason poll. Last year’s NCAA champion, Michigan, was picked to finish first.
Senior Paul Ruggeri and junior C.J. Padera of Illinois made the 12-member Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch list.