Wildcats Lead Big 12 with 9 Academic Team Honorees

Nov. 19, 2013

K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The K-State volleyball team had a conference-best nine student-athletes named to the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Team, matching the program record for a single season. Seven Wildcats were selected to the First Team while five earned the Academic All-Big 12 selection for the first time in their careers.

Seniors Courtney Cook, Kaitlynn Pelger, Lilla Porubek and Courtney Traxson were joined by juniors Gina Madonia and Taylor Johnson as well as redshirt freshman Katie Brand on the First Team. Senior Dakota Kaufman and junior Chelsea Keating were selected to the Second Team.

It is the third time Kaufman, Porubek and Traxson have been named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team. Porubek and Traxson have been selected to the First Team each time. There have now been 25 different Wildcats to be selected to the Academic All-Big 12 Team three times.

Cook, who has carried a 4.0 grade point average all four years at Kansas State, received her first Academic All-Big 12 nod. The senior, majoring in Animal Science & Industry, is one of four Big 12 student-athletes nominated this season with a 4.0 GPA.

For Johnson, Keating and Pelger, it is also their first Academic All-Big 12 honor. Madonia garnered her second award.

Brand is the first K-State freshman to be named to the Academic All-Big 12 team since Jenny Jantsch was selected in 2005. Majoring in Kinesiology, Brand is the fourth Wildcat freshman in program history to be tabbed to the Academic All-Big 12 Team.

Since head coach Suzie Fritz took the helm of K-State volleyball in 2001, the Wildcats have been selected to the Academic All-Big 12 team 88 times, including 78 First Team honors. K-State has the most Academic All-Big 12 awards (117) and First Team selections (99) in conference history.

The last time K-State had nine honorees to the Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball Team was in 1996.

The Big 12 Conference named a total of 60 student-athletes to the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball Team, including 51 First Team selections and 13 first-time honorees.

A student-athlete must have at least a 3.0 GPA, either cumulative or from the previous two semesters, to be considered for the Academic All-Big 12 team, with student-athletes achieving a GPA of 3.2 or higher being considered for the First Team. A student-athlete must have also participated in 60 percent of a team's scheduled contests. Senior student-athletes in their final year of athletic eligibility who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all criteria except percent of participation are eligible. Freshman and transfer student-athletes are not eligible during the first year of academic residence.


2013 Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball Team

K-State selections


First Team

Katie Brand, RS-Fr. (Major: Kinesiology)

Courtney Cook*, Sr. (Major: Animal Science & Industry)

Taylor Johnson, Jr. (Major: Business Management/HR)

Gina Madonia, Jr. (Major: Early Childhood Education)

Kaitlynn Pelger, Sr. (Major: Family Studies & Human Services)

Lilla Porubek, Sr. (Major: Economics)

Courtney Traxson, Sr. (Major: Psychology)


Second Team

Dakota Kaufman, Sr. (Major: Elementary Education)

Chelsea Keating, Jr. (Major: Animal Science & Industry)


*4.0 grade point average