The Minnesota volleyball team announced its postseason awards at the team banquet on Saturday, Feb. 7. Minnesota’s team awards included the team MVP, the Maurice Batie Award for most inspirational player, the Golddiggers Booster Club Award and the Gold Country Award for the highest GPA during the fall semester.
Lauren Gibbemeyer was named Minnesota’s 2008 Most Valuable Player. The sophomore middle blocker was named a Third-Team All-American and First-Team All-Big Ten this past season. Gibbemeyer also received AVCA National Player of the Week honors on Sept. 15. She finished the season fifth in the Big Ten in blocks (1.39 blps), seventh in points (4.20 pps) and 10th in hitting percentage (.305). Gibbemeyer also led the team in kills (405), blocks (174) and hitting percentage (.316).
Kelly Schmidt received the Golddigger Award for the Minnesota Volleyball Booster Club. This past spring, Schmidt was named to the team captain for the 2008 team. She played a big role in leading the team to a 27-7 overall record and a second-place finish in the Big Ten at 16-4. On the season, Schmidt averaged 1.41 kps and was third on the team in blocks. She also received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award and was named to the Big Ten All-Academic team. In her final match against Iowa State, Schmidt hit .561 with 10 kills for the Golden Gophers against Iowa State in the NCAA Tournament.
Christine Tan received the Maurice Batie Award for Most Inspirational Player. Tan was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, received First-Team All-Big Ten honors and was an Honorable-Mention All-American. On the season, Tan led the Big Ten in with 4.89 dps and averaged 0.45 aps. She also led the Big Ten with 4.65 dps in conference play. Tan joined Paula Gentil as one of only two Golden Gophers in school history to tally 600 or more digs in a season. This past season, Tan’s 611 digs were the fourth-highest total in school history.
Katie Vatterrodt received the Gold Country Award for the highest GPA during the fall semester for a second year in a row. Vatterrodt is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. This past season, she averaged 0.92 kps and 0.34. Vatterrodt came up with one of the biggest blocks of the season when she blocked match point in an exciting five-set victory at Wisconsin. She also had a team-high 13 kills in her final career match against Iowa State in NCAA Tournament.
This past year, Minnesota posted its third-highest regular-season win total in school history and hosted the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. It marked the 10th year in the row that the Golden Gophers qualified for the NCAA Tournament, making it one of only 12 programs nationally to accomplish that feat. Minnesota also finished second or better in the Big Ten for the seventh time since 1999.