Zimmerman, Hunt Named Preseason All-Big Ten; U-M Picked to Finish Fifth

Aug. 12, 2010

PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- The University of Michigan volleyball team was picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten Conference in the annual preseason poll, released on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 12). In addition, senior setter Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) and junior outside hitter Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) were named to the preseason All-Big Ten team.

Three-time defending national champion Penn State was picked to win the Big Ten, followed by Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio State. In-state rival Michigan State was slotted sixth behind U-M, which posted a 27-10 (12-8 Big Ten) record in 2009 and earned a No. 9 national final ranking. Only the top six teams were voted upon in 2010.

"Preseason polls do not mean much," 12th-year head coach Mark Rosen said. "The conference is good enough right now that one through 11 is up for grabs. I really think that the Big Ten is the deepest it has ever been this year. We have a lot of work to do to live up to that finish, but I think that our team is up for it."

"It is a great for both Lexi and Alex to be honored, for both them individually and our team," Rosen continued. "It says a lot about us that we have two players on the preseason team. It is a reflection of them and what they bring to this team every day, both in practice and in matches."

Zimmerman was one of eight unanimous selections in earning her third consecutive nod on the preseason team. An AVCA All-America first team honoree in 2009, Zimmerman led Big Ten setters in total assists (1,516) and ranked third in the conference with 11.04 assists per set. She was named to four all-tournament teams and earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after posting a triple-double (11 kills, 17 digs and 42 assists) against Tennessee on Sept. 4, 2009. She needs 462 assists to become the program's all-time leader.

Hunt, an All-Big Ten honorable mention performer in 2009, led the Wolverines in service aces (57) while ranking second in kills (465) and fifth in digs (298) last season. She set the school record for service aces in a match, notching nine against Marquette (Sept. 18, 2009). Hunt recorded seven double-doubles (kills-digs) last season, including an 18-kill, 14-dig performance in a 3-1 win at No. 4 Stanford to send the Wolverines to their first-ever NCAA Regional Final.

The Wolverines start the 2010 campaign against Binghamton at the Rocket Classic on Aug. 27 at 5 p.m.

2010 Big Ten Preseason Poll
1. Penn State
2. Illinois
3. Minnesota
4. Ohio State
6. Michigan State

2010 Preseason All-Big Ten Team
Michelle Bartsch, Illinois (2)
Johannah Bangert, Illinois
LAURA DEBRULER, Illinois (3)
Hilary Haen, Illinois
ASHLEY BENSON, Indiana (2)
Lexi Zimmerman, MICHIGAN (3)
Kyndra Abron, Michigan State
Hailey Cowles, Minnesota
Tabitha Love, Minnesota
SABEL MOFFETT, Northwestern
KATIE DULL, Ohio State
BLAIR BROWN, Penn State (2)
Alyssa D'Erico, Penn State
ARIELLE WISLON, Penn State (3)

Unanimous selection in CAPS
(2) Two-time selection
(3) Three-time selection

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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