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Donnelly, Martinez named Illinois Newcomers of the Year

The Fighting Illini freshmen were honored by the athletic department on Wednesday.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Athletics announced on Wednesday that freshmen Isaiah Martinez (wrestling) and Brandi Donnelly (volleyball) have been named the 2014-15 Fighting Illini Newcomers of the Year. The award is presented annually to the top male and female athletes participating in their first year with the Illini.

Martinez went a perfect 35-0 during his first year with the Illini as he captured an individual National Championship at 157 pounds. He was the NCAA's first undefeated freshman to win a national championship since Iowa State's Cael Sanderson did so in 1999.

Donnelly was the starting libero for an Illinois squad that reach the Sweet Sixteen. She recorded 575 digs on the season (second-highest single-season total in school history) and was selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team.


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