Dec. 3, 2013
Seniors Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.) and Ashley Wittman were named unanimous All-Big Ten selections, while rookie Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minn.) landed a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman team, announced today by the league office. Daly Santana (Corozal, Puerto Rico) was also awarded Minnesota's Sportsmanship Award.
Dixon reels in her third-straight All-Big Ten honor and is a two-time unanimous pick. As a senior, the 6-foot, 3-inch middle blocker leads the Gophers in sets played (114), kills (414), kills per set (3.63), hitting percentage (.393), total blocks (151) and points (516.5). A Preseason All-Big Ten pick, Dixon was a three-time all-tournament selection in non-conference play following the UAB/Samford, Diet Coke Classic and Dartmouth Duels tournaments. A middle blocker who attacks at all three front row rotations, Dixon attempted nearly double of any other Big Ten middle blocker and maintained a .393 hitting clip, good for fourth in league standings. She also ranked third in the conference in blocks per set (1.32) and fourth in points (4.53). In 32 matches played this season, Dixon led the Gophers in kills 18 times and in blocks 17 times and received five Big Ten weekly awards.
Wittman received her second unanimous All-Big Ten award, having also garnered the honor as a sophomore. The 6-foot outside hitter ranked second on the team in kills (380), kills per set (3.36) and points (431.5) and first in attempts (963) and digs. A six-rotation student-athlete, Wittman also led Minnesota with 14 double-doubles. A Preseason All-Big Ten pick, Wittman received all-tournament honors three times in non-conference play - UAB/Samford, Diet Coke Classic and Dartmouth Duels . Named the Big Ten Player of the Week twice this season, Wittman also received one defensive player of the week honor. She ranks ninth in the league in kills and points and in conference play was the only position player to rank in the top 10 in digs (275. Wittman led the Gophers in match kills 10 times and in digs 18 times.
Tapp landed a spot on the All-Freshman team after a stellar rookie season. Playing in 108 sets, the 6-foot, 2-inch middle blocker ranks second on the team in blocks (141) and blocks per set (1.31). Making a name for herself in the league, Tapp ranked fifth amongst Big Ten blockers and fourth against conference opponents. She led the Gophers in match blocks 13 times this year. Hitting .385 this season, Tapp has recorded 102 kills, which ranks fifth on the team.
The Golden Gophers host the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Tournament this weekend, Dec. 6-7. Friday's match between Iowa State and Colorado will begin at 4:30 p.m., while the Gophers face Radford, 7 p.m. The winners move onto the second round, which will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7p.m. and a chance to play in the Lexington Regional, Dec. 13-14.
Gophers in the Pros: Nicole Branagh
Gophersports.com checked in with Gopher hall of famer and United States Olympian, Nicole Branagh.
Tapp Named to Pan Am Cup Roster
Paige Tapp was named one of 14 players that will represent Team USA at the Pan American Cup, June 17-25 in Peru.
Wilhite, Sheehy Up for B1G Athlete of the Year
Wilhite and Sheehy are among 28 nominees representing each Big Ten Conference institution. The Big Ten Athletes of the Year will be announced on Monday, June 19.