The Minnesota volleyball team had three players receive All-Region honors according to an announcement by the AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) on Wednesday, Dec. 10. Junior libero Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.), sophomore outside hitter Brook Dieter and sophomore middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) each received All-Region honors.
It marked the fifth time in school history that the Golden Gophers had three players named First-Team All-Region. Minnesota also had three players named to the team in 1999 (Lindsey Berg, Nicole Branagh and Stephanie Hagen), 2000 (Berg, Branagh, Hagen), 2002 (Cassie Busse, Paula Gentil (Lindsey Taatjes) and 2004 (Kelly Bowman, Gentil and Erin Martin).
Tan was one of 11 liberos to be selected to an All-Region team, and was the only one to claim the honors in the Mideast Region. She joins Paula Gentil (2002-05) and Malama Peniata (2006) as one of three Golden Gopher liberos to receive All-Region honors.
Heading into the week, Tan is leading the Big Ten in digs with 4.89 dps. She also finished the season averaging 0.45 aps and was second on the team in service aces. Tan led the Big Ten in digs in conference play with 4.65 dps.
Tan finished the season with 611 digs. The 611 digs were the fourth-most on the Minnesota single-season list. In the final match of the season against Iowa State, Tan joined Paula Gentil as one of only two Golden Gophers to record 600 or more digs in a season.
In 2008, she also set a conference record for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week at five. That mark also matched a conference record for weekly honors set by Stacey Gordon in 2004. Tan also enters the week leading the Big Ten in serve-receive percentage at .983. She has only committed 11 errors in 664 attempts.
Dieter becomes the first Golden Gopher outside hitter to claim First-Team All-Region honors since Erin Martin did so in 2004. Last year, Dieter was named Honorable-Mention All-Region. She also joins Gibbemeyer as the first Golden Gopher sophomores to claim the All-Region honors since Kelly Bowman did so in 2004.
This year, Dieter led the team with 3.57 kps, had 2.23 dps and 0.68 blps. In conference play, Dieter averaged 3.82 kps, 3.00 dps and 0.70 blps. She is currently sixth overall in kills and eighth in points per set. In Big Ten play, Dieter was sixth in kills and sixth in points per set.
Dieter had double-figure kills in 15 of 17 Big Ten contests this year, before getting injured against Michigan and missing the rest of the season. The only matches in which she failed to reach double-figures in Big Ten play were at No. 1 Penn State and in the match where she left with an injury in the second set against the Wolverines. Dieter also produced double-doubles in nine matches this year.
Gibbemeyer was one of eight players to receive First-Team All-Big Ten honors unanimously this year. She also extended a streak of four years in a row that a Golden Gopher middle blocker has received First-Team All-Big Ten honors. Gibbemeyer has combined with Jessy Jones (2007) and Meredith Nelson (2005-06) to put together that string of first team honors.
She finished the season leading the team in kills (405), blocks (174) and hitting percentage (.316). She is currently 15th in the nation in blocks, and is fifth overall in the Big Ten at 1.39 blps. Gibbemeyer is also 10th in hitting percentage and seventh in points (4.20 pps). In Big Ten play, she finished 10th in kills (3.19 kps), 10th in hitting percentage (.305), eighth in points (4.14 pps) and fifth in blocks (1.40 blps).
Gibbemeyer finished the season with 174 blocks on the season. That total put her at second on the school’s single-season list in that category. She missed tying Charnette Fair for the school record of 175 (in 1999) by one block. In her first two seasons, Gibbemeyer has accumulated 296 blocks. That total puts her just 69 blocks from moving into the career top 10 after only two years with the program.
With the First-Team All-Region honors that Dieter, Gibbemeyer and Tan received they qualify to be considered for All-American honors. All-American teams will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 17.