A Night at the Lied 2024-SB 5344A Night at the Lied 2024-SB 5344-wide

Andrews, Piper Take Top Honors at “A Night at the Lied”

Written byShamus McKnight

“A Night at the Lied”

Andrews, Piper Take Top Honors at “A Night at the Lied”
Lincoln – Nebraska Athletics celebrated its top achievers on the field, in the classroom and in the community with the annual “A Night at the Lied” Sunday evening.  The event highlights the accomplishments of Husker student athletes over the past year, culminating with the presentation of the Most Outstanding Female and Male Student- Athletes.

Seniors Billie Andrews (Softball) and Ethan Piper (Football) won the most coveted awards at the 34th annual event, as they were selected as the 2023-24 Most Outstanding Female and Male Student-Athlete. To be considered for the award, student-athletes must have a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or better, performed with distinction in a varsity sport, demonstrated a commitment to service and leadership, and acted in a manner that has brought credit to the student-athlete, the institution and intercollegiate athletics.

Andrews has cemented a legacy as one of the best softball players in school history. A three-time All-Big Ten honoree, the Gretna, Neb., native is the program’s all-time leader in home runs with 58 as of April 24 and ranks in the top 10 on school charts in eight offensive categories, including runs scored, hits, RBI and batting average. She was a third-team All-American in 2023, hitting .354 with 16 homers, 35 RBI and 50 runs scored as the Huskers made it to the finals of the Stillwater Regional. This season, she has a .368 average with 15 homers, 38 RBI, 47 runs scored and 13 stolen bases as of April 24, as she currently ranks in the top 10 in the Big Ten in home runs, RBI and runs scored. In the classroom, she is a two-time CSC Academic All-District honoree, a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and has been a NU Gold Academic medallion winner in both 2022 and 2023. Andrews has been active in the community participating in a number of outreach initiatives.  Andrews is a graphic design major who is on track to graduate next month. Andrews is only the third softball player to receive the award since it began in 1991, joining Mattie Fowler (2016) and Jenny Smith (1998). 

Piper was a significant contributor for the Husker football team, as he made 25 career starts and played in 31 games during his Husker career. He started at least three games in each of the last four seasons, including all seven appearances in 2023 before his career was ended by a knee injury. Piper, who was just the 13th true freshman offensive linemen to play in school history, was honored as the only Husker offensive lineman to receive a single-digit number, symbolizing Nebraska’s toughest players in 2023. The Norfolk, Neb., native helped NU rank second in the Big Ten in rushing offense in 2023. Off the field, Piper was a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a three-time Big Ten distinguished scholar. He also was heavily involved in NU’s Life Skills program, serving as one of the leaders for the 2023 Nebraska Football Road Race and took part in the NoFilter Service Trip to Panama in 2023. A science education major, he is on track to graduate next month.  Piper is the 10th football player to be selected Most Outstanding Male Student-Athlete. It is the second straight year a football player has received the honor, following Trent Hixson in 2023. 

Andrews and Piper will be Nebraska’s Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients in 2024. The conference's most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student from the graduating class of each university who had "attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work." Big Ten schools currently feature more than 9,500 student-athletes with 11,000 participation opportunities, but only 28 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In more than 100 years of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, more than 1,500 students have earned this distinction.

Eleanor Dale (Soccer) was named the Female Athlete of the Year after leading the Husker soccer program to one of its best seasons in school history. The Billingham, England, product was a runner-up for the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy in 2023 as she helped the Huskers to a 17-4-3 record and an Elite Eight finish. Dale earned first-team All-America honors, as she totaled 28 goals and five assists for a total of 61 points. She led the nation in goals (28) and ranked in the top two nationally in total points (61, second), points per game (2.54, second) and game winning goals (eight, second). Dale’s 28 goals broke a school record which had stood since 1998. A first-team All-Big Ten selection, she was the Big Ten Forward of the Year, as she had at least one goal or assist in 19 of the Huskers’ 24 matches. In addition, she also earned first-team Academic All-America recognition in 2023. 

Till Steinforth (Track and Field) earned Male Athlete of the Year, as he earned four first-team All-America honors over the last year on the track. A native of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany Steinforth placed fourth at the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the decathlon with a score of 7,991 and finished seventh in the long jump with a leap of 25-10. He was named the Male Field Athlete of the Championships at the 2023 Big Ten Meet, setting a school record in the decathlon (8,064) while placing first in the long jump to lead Nebraska to a Big Ten title. He continued his dominance during the indoor season as he was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year after placing third in the heptathlon (6,140) and seventh in the long jump at the 2024 NCAA Indoor Championships. He also won the Big Ten indoor title in the long jump with a leap of 26-2 ¾.

Bergen Reilly (Volleyball) was chosen as the Female Freshman Athlete of the Year as she helped the Husker volleyball team to a 33-2 record and NCAA runner-up finish. Reilly earned second-team AVCA All-America honors, as she averaged a conference-leading 10.51 assists and 2.64 digs per set as Nebraska won the outright Big Ten title. A first-team All-Big Ten selection, she became the first freshman to be named Big Ten Setter of the Year since the award began in 2012. Reilly helped NU rank second in the Big Ten in hitting percentage and kills per set. She won six conference weekly awards in 2023, including a pair of Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week accolades and four Big Ten Setter-of-the-Week honors. Reilly, a native of Sioux Falls, S.D., totaled 15 double-doubles and was second on the team in digs per set. She earned a spot on the Lincoln Regional All-Tournament Team with 40 assists and 16 digs in the regional final win over Arkansas.  She totaled a season-high 54 assists at Purdue and finished with 50 assists and a career-high 17 digs in the Huskers’ win over then-No. 1 Wisconsin. 

Antrell Taylor (Wrestling) was tabbed as the Male Freshman Athlete of the Year after earning All-America honors in his first season of competition. The redshirt freshman from Millard, Neb., went 23-10 on the season at 165 pounds as Nebraska finished third at the Big Ten Championships and ninth at the 2024 NCAA Championships. Taylor placed eighth at the NCAA Championships, reaching the quarterfinals before battling back to earn All-America honors with an eighth-place finish. He finished fifth at the Big Ten Championships and went 11-3 during the dual meet season with one pin, two technical falls and five major decisions. In all, 10 of his 23 wins came against nationally ranked opponents. 

A total of nine student-athletes received the Outstanding Scholar Award, which is presented to individuals who have graduated with better than a 3.90 GPA in the previous year or are up for graduation and have better than a 3.90 GPA. The list of honorees included a trio of track and field athletes in Matthias Algarin, Katelyn Mullinax and Emma Ralston, softball players Sydney Gray and Abbie Squier, as well as Kinsey Davis (Women’s Gymnastics), Emily Haimes (Swimming and Diving), Ethan Piper (Football) and Lindsey Thiele (Women’s Golf).

The Herman Team GPA Award highlights academic performance in the classroom over the previous two completed semesters. The men’s tennis team under Interim Coach Peter Kobelt earned its third straight Herman Award and the 11th in program history with a team GPA of 3.460. The women’s golf team, under the direction of Coach Jeanne Sutherland, claimed its first Herman Award since 2003 with an impressive 3.736 GPA.  

Life Skills presented the Sam Foltz 27 Hero Leadership Award on Sunday. This award, named in honor of the late Husker punter Sam Foltz, was presented to 27 student-athletes across all sports who exhibit strong leadership qualities, commitment to service and ability to encourage/empower peers. The Life Skills program also named a pair of winners across all sports of its most prestigious individual award - the Heart & Soul Award. The 2024 Heart & Soul winners were Sadio Fenner (Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field) and Lindsey Thiele (Women's Golf) for their extensive work in the community during the course of their college careers. 

Life Skills also honored the members of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team, as a total of 396 student-athletes were recognized. The Huskers “Good Works” team was created in 2014, and the 396 recipients is the most throughout the history of the award. Special recognition went to 13 programs who had 100 percent of their roster honored this year, including Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Bowling, Women’s Golf, Men’s Gymnastics, Women’s Gymnastics, Rifle, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Men’s Tennis, Women’s Tennis, and Volleyball.

Overall, a total of 355 Huskers earned academic medallions at “A Night at the Lied”. Gold medallions (119) were presented to those for earning highest academic honors (3.750-4.000 grade-point average). Silver medallions (110) were awarded to those capturing for high honors (3.500-3.749 GPA), while bronze medallions (126) were presented to student-athletes with honors (3.000-3.499 GPA).

“A Night at the Lied” Winners for 2023-24
Most Outstanding Female Student-Athlete & Big Ten Medal of Honor: Billie Andrews, Softball

Most Outstanding Male Student-Athlete & Big Ten Medal of Honor:  Ethan Piper, Football

Female Athlete of the Year: Eleanor Dale, Soccer

Male Athlete of the Year: Till Steinforth, Track and Field

Female Freshman Athlete of the Year: Bergen Reilly, Volleyball

Male Freshman Athlete of the Year: Antrell Taylor, Wrestling

Women’s Herman Team GPA Award: Golf (3.736 GPA)

Men’s Herman Team GPA Award: Tennis (3.460 GPA)

Outstanding Scholar Awards (9): Matthias Algarin, Men’s Track and Field; Kinsey Davis, Women’s Gymnastics; Sydney Gray, Softball; Emily Haimes, Swimming and Diving, Katelyn Mullinax, Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field; Ethan Piper, Football; Emma Ralston, Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field; Abbie Squier, Softball; Lindsey Thiele, Women’s Golf

Heart & Soul Awards (2): Sadio Fenner, Men's Cross Country/Track and Field; Lindsey Thiele, Women's Golf

Sam Foltz 27 Hero Leadership Award (27): Trevor Acton, Cross Country/Track and Field; Josiah Allick, Basketball; Marie Alukonis-Pfannenstiel, Women's Track and Field; Sarah Barton, Swimming and Diving; Alexis Buchert, Bowling; John Bullock, Football; Lauren Buzzell, Soccer; Caitlin Cairns, Swimming and Diving; Katelyn Caneda,    Softball; Laney Choboy, Volleyball; Taylor Christopulos Men's Gymnastics; Clara Colombo, Women's Gymnastics; Jagger Condomitti, Wrestling; Marissa Cosentini, Bowling; Deavion Deleon, Women's Cross Country/Track and Field; Isaac Gifford, Football; Emily Haimes, Swimming and Diving; Callin Hake, Women's Basketball; Cale Jacobsen, Men's Basketball; Camilla Johannessen Rifle; Katie Kuenemann, Women's Gymnastics; Luke Lindenmeyer, Football; Lucy Loy, Women's Tennis; Roman Mangini, Football; Will Marshall, Men's Golf; Karlie Moore, Women's Track and Field; Abbie Squier, Softball