Aug 16, 2013
For the third-straight season, the University of Minnesota had two honorees on the Preseason All-Big Ten list in seniors Tori Dixon and Ashley Wittman. Along with Dixon and Wittman receiving preseason honors, Minnesota is predicted to finish second in the Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll. Both announcements were made by the league office, Aug. 16, 2013.
Defending Big Ten champions Penn State landed the top spot and are ranked second in the 2013 AVCA Preseason poll, while Minnesota was picked second and ranked sixth in the national standings. As the top six teams were selected into the poll, the No. 3 spot went to Michigan, followed by Nebraska (4), Michigan State (5) and Illinois (6).
Dixon was just one of three unanimous selections after coming off a stellar 2012 junior season. The 6-foot, 3-inch middle blocker received 2012 Second Team All-America accolades and was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection. In her junior year, Dixon played all 126 sets and started in all 35 matches to lead the Gophers in hitting percentage (.436), blocks (133) and blocks per set, while she ranked second in kills per set (3.04) and points per set (3.90). As a sophomore, Dixon hit .342 when she had 334 kills for 426.5 points and 108 total blocks.
Wittman, a 6-foot outside hitter landed on the Preseason All-Big Ten for the third time in her four-year career. Wittman was the Golden Gophers’2012 team captain and was named an All-America and All-Big Ten honorable mention. A six-rotation player, Wittman anchored the 2012 Gopher defense when she led the team with 350 digs to average 2.8 per set. Posting over 1,000 career kills, Wittman was a 2011 All-American and unanimous All-Big Ten selection her sophomore year when she led the team in kills (566), kps (4.48) and points (607).
Minnesota opens the 2013 campaign on Aug. 30-31, at the UAB/Samford Challenge in Birmingham, Ala. The Golden Gophers open the home season, Sept. 6-7, hosting Ball State, Duke and Western Illinois as a part of the Diet Coke Classic. All home matches will be played at the Sports Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus.
Preseason All-Big Ten
Jocelynn Birks, Illinois, So., OH, Willow Springs, Ill.
Liz McMahon (2), Illinois, Jr., OH, Liberty Township, Ohio
Jennifer Cross, Michigan, Sr., MB, Scarborough, Ontario
Lexi Dannemiller, Michigan, Jr., S, West Chester, Ohio
Lexi Erwin, Michigan, Sr., OH, Spring, Texas
LAUREN WICINSKI, Michigan State, Sr., OH, Geneva, Ill.
Tori Dixon (3), Minnesota, Sr., MB, Burnsville, Minn.
Ashley Wittman (3), Minnesota, Sr., OH, Shakopee, Minn.
Stephanie Holthus (3), Northwestern, Sr., OH, Burlington, Ill.
Megan Courtney, Penn State, So., S/OH, Dayton, Ohio
Micha Hancock, Penn State, Jr., S, Edmond, Okla.
Deja McClendon (3), Penn State, Sr., OH, Louisville, Ky.
ARIEL SCOTT (2), Penn State, Sr., RH, Ridgewood, N.J.
Katie Slay (3), Penn State, Sr., MH, Raleigh, N.C.
UNANIMOUS SELECTION IN CAPS
(2) Two-time selection
(3) Three-time selection
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