Feb. 9, 2012
The Minnesota volleyball team announced its postseason awards at the team banquet on Saturday, Feb. 4. 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.
Sophomore outside hitter Ashley Wittman was named the team's most valuable player. Following the season, Wittman received Second-Team All-America honors by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She was also a named to the Mideast All-Region team as well as an All-Big Ten selection. In just two seasons with the Maroon and Gold, Wittman has already established 998 career kills, trailing only Nicole Branagh in kills after two seasons of play. The sophomore led the team and ranked second in the Big Ten Conference in kills (556) and points (607.5) in 1,391 total attempts. In conference action alone, Wittman averaged 4.39 kills per set and 4.76 points per set, trailing only Big Ten Player of the Year Ariel Turner in both categories. A six-rotation player, Wittman saw action in every set this season (124), and also ranked third on the team in digs (335), blocks (59) and aces (18). During non-conference tournament play, Wittman was a three-time All-Tournament selection, including the Most Valuable Player for the Northern Iowa Tournament and the Marquette Challenge. Following the Penn State and Ohio State weekend, Nov. 4-5, Wittman achieved her second weekly conference honors when she had 52 kills, including a career-high 31 against Penn State. Prior to her sophomore season, she was also named to the Preseason All-Big Ten list.
Jessica Granquist and Mia Tabberson were both awarded the Golddiggers Award from the Minnesota Volleyball Booster Club. The award goes to the player(s) who demonstrate a positive attitude during competition, on and off the court, as well a promoting a positivie image for the University of Minnesota. Both played significant roles for the Golden Gophers in the 2011 season. Granquist finished her career with 1,737 career digs and saw action in 132 career matches and 465 sets • a Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week as a senior, a three-time all-tournament selection (AVCA Showcase, UNI All-Tournament and Marquette Challenge). Tabberson played in 96 sets and saw action in 27 matches during her junior year. Tabberson, the Gophers' Sportsmanship honoree, Averaging 12.16 assists per set, Tabberson had 1167 assists in 2011.
Juliane Daugaard received the Maurice Batie Award for Most Inspirational Player, which is chosen by the coaches and staff. The award went to the person who works hard and contributes both on and off the court. Daugaard was a red-shirt freshman last year and will be able to compete in the 2012 campaign.
Ariana Filho received the Gold Country Award for the highest GPA during the fall semester. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten, Filho averaged 1.83 kills per set and played in every set and every match during her senior season. She also led the team in blocking, with 12 solo blocks and 99 block assists for 111 and 0.90 per set. She is also a child psychology major.
Regional Times Set, Gophers Play at 7:15 p.m. Friday
Match and television/streaming times have been slated for the NCAA Division I Volleyball Regional Semifinals and Finals next weekend.
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