CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UI Release) -- Illinois junior Jennifer Beltran and sophomore Liz McMahon have been named preseason All-Big Ten by the conference coaches. Both Beltran and McMahon are former members of the All-Big Ten Freshman Team but this is the first All-Big Ten honor for both.
Additionally the conference coaches ranked the top six teams in the league and Illinois checked at No. 5. Defending conference champion Nebraska is the pick to repeat followed by Penn State, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio State.
A two-year starter at libber, Beltran ranks fifth on the Illinois career digs list with 1,194, having posted the top single-single digs marks for the program in the last seasons (623 in 2010 and 571 in 2011). She had 32 digs vs. USC in the national semifinal match.
The 6-6 McMahon made a splash as a freshman, starting on the right side. She was named to the all-tournament team at the Big Ten/East Challenge. She hit .545 with 13 kills in a win at No. 23 Michigan and hit .407 with 14 kills combined in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Illinois opens the season Aug. 24-25 at the Dayton Flyer Classic.