An athletic career like Mikaela Foecke’s doesn’t go unnoticed - on the court or off. The latest in her long line of awards is the 2018 Senior CLASS Award in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball. The award, chosen by Division I volleyball coaches, national volleyball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball. The winner is someone who excels in four areas: classroom, community, character and competition.
The “CLASS” award is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. Foecke is the fourth Senior CLASS Award winner from Nebraska and the second Husker to win for volleyball. Gina Mancuso also took home the award in 2012.
“When I came to the University of Nebraska in 2015, my goals were to not only help Nebraska volleyball win games and championships, but also to become a better student, person and teammate,” said Foecke. “These past four years have gone by so quickly, and it hasn’t really set in yet that my college career is coming to an end. But when I look back, I am so proud of all that we have accomplished. To win two national championships and two Big Ten championships has been incredible, but what I will really take most from my time at Nebraska is the relationships I have built with my teammates, the coaches, the staff, and of course our amazing fans. Whichever path I take after graduation, I know that the experience of being a student-athlete at Nebraska will have prepared me well for life both on and off the volleyball court.”
Foecke is already one of the greatest players at one of the top volleyball programs in the country. She has been named NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player twice. She has earned AVCA All-America honors in each of her first three seasons with the potential for a fourth honor this week. She has also received Big Ten conference honors all four years, including unanimous first-team honors as both a junior and senior. Foecke currently ranks third on Nebraska’s career kills list with 1,638, and her 132 career aces are eighth-most in school history. She also has 263 career kills all-time in the NCAA Tournament, second-most in school history behind only Sarah Pavan (304).
Off the court, and in the classroom, Foecke has received multiple Academic All-Big Ten honors in her career for both court volleyball and beach volleyball. Majoring in animal science, she carries a 3.649 GPA is a five-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll and has received Nebraska’s High Honors (Silver) Academic Medallion twice.
“Mikaela is part of the most decorated senior class in the history of Nebraska volleyball,” said Head Coach John Cook. “She and Kenzie Maloney are the only two Nebraska players ever who will have played at four NCAA Final Fours, and she has been the most outstanding player two of the three times we have been there, which is incredible. What separates Mikaela is her dedication to being great in everything she does. She is a phenomenal student with aspirations of being a veterinarian someday. Mikaela has also developed outstanding leadership skills during her time at Nebraska, and there’s no question that she and Kenzie are the biggest reason this young team has made it to the NCAA Semifinals for a fourth time. Mikaela will leave a huge lasting legacy on Nebraska volleyball when her career comes to an end.”
Serving as a volleyball team captain and the volleyball representative on the Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Foecke has shown exemplary character throughout her Husker career. A three-time Tom Osborne Citizenship Team member and a Diversity & Inclusion Summit leader, Foecke has also remained committed to community outreach, helping the Husker volleyball program earn the Nebraska’s Life Skills Award through her work with events and organizations such as One Shirt One Body, Uplifting Athletes, People’s City Mission, Husker Heroes, Make-a-Wish and more.
Congratulations to Mikaela on this well-deserved award!