The Minnesota volleyball team had three players receive Big Ten honors according to an announcement by the conference office on Monday, Nov. 26. Senior middle blocker Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) was named First-Team All-Big Ten, while freshman middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) and freshman outside hitter Brook Dieter received Big Ten All-Freshman team honors.
Jones received First-Team honors after receiving Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten honors in 2006. It is the third year in a row that a Minnesota middle blocker has received First-Team honors. Jones is third in the Big Ten in blocks at 1.63 blpg, and was fifth in the country in blocks as of Nov. 19. She is also third in blocks in conference play at 1.66 blpg. Jones leads the team in hitting percentage (.284) and blocks (1.63 blpg).
Heading into the tournament, Jones is fourth on the school’s all-time list with 480 blocks and third in block assists at 425. She is also currently eight on the single-season list in blocks with 160, and fifth in the block assists at 136. Last year, Jones had the seventh-highest single-season block total at 161. She also had the sixth-highest block assists total at 134 in 2006. Over the last two years, Jones has 321 blocks. That is the second-highest two-year block total in school history.
Gibbemeyer and Dieter’s Big Ten All-Freshman honors marked the first time that the Golden Gophers had two players on the All-Freshman team since Paula Gentil and Jessica Byrnes were named to the team in 2002. Minnesota joins Penn State as the only team with two players to receive All-Freshman honors.
Dieter received Big Ten Player of the Week honors three times this season (Sept. 3, 17 and Nov. 12). She tied Big Ten Player of the Year Christa Harmotto for the most player of the week honors this season. She also joined Megan Hodge (Penn State in 2006), Nicole Fawcett (Penn State in 2005) and Stacey Gordon (Ohio State in 2003) as one of only four freshman in conference history to receive Big Ten Player of the Week honors three times in a season.
She currently leads Minnesota in kills (396), is second in digs (273) and second in service aces (26). Dieter’s 396 kills are the fourth-most by a Minnesota freshman in school history. She is also just 27 digs from becoming only the second Golden Gopher freshman in school history (since 1982) to record 300 kills and 300 digs in a season. Dieter is second among freshman in kills in the Big Ten, and is second in conference in service ace-to-service error ratio at 1.52-to-1.
Gibbemeyer leads Minnesota in service aces (31), is third in kills (307), second in hitting percentage (.279) and second in blocks (117). She also leads the Golden Gophers in hitting percentage in Big Ten play, is third in kills, second in blocks and first in service aces. Gibbemeyer is also sixth in the Big Ten in service aces in conference play.
She is one of only nine Golden Gopher freshman in school history to record 300 kills in a season. Gibbemeyer is also one of only five Minnesota freshman to record 100 blocks or more in her freshman season. She is also one of only two Golden Gopher freshman to record 300 kills and 100 blocks in a season.
Minnesota senior defensive specialist Kelly Roysland (Fosston, Minn.) also claimed the Big Ten Sportsmanship honors that were awarded to one member on each Big Ten team. With the Golden Gophers’ trip to the NCAA Tournament, Roysland becomes the first Minnesota athlete to play in the NCAA Tournament in women’s basketball and women’s volleyball. She enters the week averaging 2.08 apg and 0.33 apg.
Penn State’s Russ Rose was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, while Harmotto received Player of the Year and Alisha Glass received Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors. Michigan’s Stesha Selsky was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
The Nittany Lions led the way with four First-Team All-Big Ten honorees (Harmotto, Megan Hodge, Nicole Fawcett and Alisha Glass). Wisconsin had three players named all-conference, as Brittney Dolgner, Taylor Reineke and Jackie Simpson all collected the honors. Katie Bruzdzinski (Michigan), Ashley Schatzle (Michigan State), Danielle Meyer (Ohio State) and Stephanie Lynch (Purdue) also received First-Team All-Big Ten honors.
Vicki Brown (Illinois), Laura DeBruler (Illinois), Lauren Ditteon (Indiana), Katie Johnson (Michigan State) and Jocelyn Wack (Wisconsin) each received All-Big Ten honors. DeBruler, Lexi Zimmerman, Blair Brown and Wilson also claimed All-Freshman honors.