playeUniversity of Minnesota volleyball coach Mike Hebert announced Tuesday that Kathy Tilson will be a member of the 2001 Minnesota volleyball team. Tilson, who will be a senior for the Gophers, has played the previous three seasons at the University of Texas. She will be taking the scholarship of Yvonne VanOort, who chose not to come back for her senior season in January.
"Kathy Tilson is a veteran outside hitter," said Hebert. "She has been through the volleyball wars in the Big 12 for three years. Kathy will add a layer of experience that will help to fortify our stable of young outside hitters."
Tilson, a native of Austin, Texas, is a three-year letterwinner at Texas in the sport of volleyball. Her most successful season was her sophomore campaign, where she was named to the All-Big 12 first team. She became the fourth Longhorn sophomore in history to record more than 400 kills in a season with 424 kills in 1999. During the 2000 season, she led Texas with 364 kills and was third on the team with 265 digs. She is a two-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection and was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection in 1999.
Tilson graduated from Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, in 1998 after being named to the Texas all-state volleyball team as a senior. She played basketball, softball, and ran track in her high school career. Tilson competed against current Gopher softball player Shelly Nichols, who graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in Austin in 1999.
Minnesota finished the 2000 volleyball season with a 30-4 overall record and advanced to the final 16 of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament for the second consecutive year. The Gophers set a school record with 17 Big Ten wins, finishing one match behind Big Ten champion and NCAA runner-up Wisconsin. Minnesota opens its 2001 season Friday, August 31, at the Jefferson Cup Invitational in Charlottesville, Va. The Gophers will open a 14-match home schedule at the Sports Pavilion on Wednesday, Sept. 5, against Marquette at 7 p.m.