Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.), junior libero Paula Gentil (Forteleza Ceara', Brazil) and senior outside hitter Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) were all named First-Team All-Big Ten.
Gentil also received Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors for a third straight year. In four years of existence of the award, Gentil has received it three times.
Martin and Bowman were named All-Big Ten for the first time in their careers. Gentil was named First-Team All-Big Ten for a third year in a row. She becomes only the second player in school history to be named First-Team All- Big Ten in her first three season with the program, joining Andrea Gonzalez who did so in 1985-87.
Bowman's All-Big Ten honor extends a string of six straight seasons that a Golden Gopher setter has been named to one of the All-Big Ten teams. Lindsey Berg was named First-Team All-Big Ten in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) also received First- Team honors in 2002 and Honorable Mention honors in 2003. Since 1983, a Minnesota setter has been named All-Big Ten on 12 different occasions.
This season, Bowman is averaging 2.38 kills per game, 6.70 assists per game and 2.99 digs per game as one of the setters in Minnesota's 6-2 offense. She leads the nation in triple-doubles with seven on the season. In Big Ten Conference play, Bowman is tied for the lead in hitting percentage at .361 (167-45-338). Bowman is also second on Minnesota in assists, third in digs, fourth in kills and third in hitting percentage at .313. She was also named Co- Big Ten Player of the Week and AVCA National Player of the Week on Oct. 25.
Martin enters the NCAA Tournament second in the Big Ten in kills per game at 5.05 kpg, and is third in conference play at 4.94 kpg. She enters the week sixth on the Minnesota single-season list in kills at 586, and is currently fifth on the career list with 1,709. This season she has recorded double-figure kills in 30 of her 32 matches. Martin is also 22nd in the nation in kills as of Nov. 21.
In the past two seasons, Minnesota is 46-8 in matches that Martin has recorded double-figures. She is currently hitting a career-high .280 (586-182- 1,444) from the outside hitter position for the season. Martin is second on the team with 43 solo blocks. The 43 solo blocks gives her 112 for her career, which is sixth on the Minnesota career list. This season, Martin has been named tournament MVP of the Diet Coke Classic, the North Carolina Tournament and the Wyoming Tournament. She was also named to the NACWAA All-Tournament team.
Gentil enters the NCAA Tournament third in the nation in digs at 6.52. She is also first in the Big Ten, and first in conference play at 6.81 dpg. Her 751 digs this season are the fifth most in NCAA history since rally-scoring began in 2001. This season she broke the 14-year old Big Ten career digs record, and is currently 11th in NCAA history in career digs with 1,981. Gentil has recorded double-figure digs in 31 of 32 matches this season, including setting the Big Ten single-match record for digs in a game with 47 against Penn State on Oct. 2.
She currently holds the Big Ten career, single-season and single-match digs record. Gentil is also third in the Big Ten in service aces per game, and fifth in conference play. She leads Minnesota in both digs and service aces, and is third on the team in assists. This season she is helping Minnesota towards a team-record pace of 19.94 digs per game this season. That is 1.45 dig per game more then the record of 17.49, which was set last season. Gentil has been named to the Diet Coke Classic, NACWAA Classic, North Carolina and Wyoming All-Tournament teams this season. She is also a two-time Big Ten Player of the Week (Aug. 30, Sept. 27).
Penn State and Minnesota led the way with three First-Team All-Big Ten players, while Ohio State had two players on the first team. Ohio State's Stacey Gordon was named Big Ten Player of the Year for the second time in three years. The Buckeye's Jim Stone was also named Big Ten Coach of the Year, while Penn State's Kate Price was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.