Harms and Dixon Named All-Americans by AVCA

Go Gophers!
Senior Katherine Harms

Go Gophers!
Senior Katherine Harms
Go Gophers!

Dec. 12, 2012

Senior opposite hitter Katherine Harms (Albertville, Minn.) was named a first-team All-American, while junior middle blocker Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.) was named a second team All-American, announced by the America Volleyball Coaches Association on Tuesday, Dec. 12. 

The All-America honors follow all-region and All-Big Ten selections for the Gopher duo. The Harms and Dixon selections mark the ninth time in the past 11 years a Golden Gopher has received All-America status and the 22nd and 23rd honor in school history. It also is the first All-America honor for Harms, while Dixon received honorable mention status last year. Junior outside hitter Ashley Wittman (Shakopee, Minn.) was named an All-America honorable mention.

Harms saved her best season for her last as she led the team in kills (516), kills per set (4.10) and points (607.5). Following the conference season, Harms was named a unanimous All-Big Ten selection, her first career honor. A six-rotation player, Harms ranked third on the team in digs (311) and second in aces (42). She finished the regular season ranked sixth in the Big Ten in kills, third in points per set, 10th in hitting percentage and fifth in aces.

She bettered her junior numbers from 305 kills to 516 this season and 177 digs to 311. In NCAA Tournament action this year, Harms led the team in kills (58), kills per set (3.87) and aces (6). She amassed her 1,000th career kill in the regular season finale against Indiana (11/24). Harms finished her Gopher career with 1,071 career kills and 654 career digs. Having a standout season, she entered the year with 555 career kills and 340 digs. Having never earned weekly conference awards, Harms snagged three Big Ten Player of the Week honors this year. 

From the first match of the season, Dixon continued to dominate against her opponents, as she hit .436 this season. That hitting percentage was fourth-best nationally and topped the Big Ten Conference. In just 711 swings, Dixon has 383 kills, 73 errors to average 3.04 kills per set. She opened her junior campaign hitting a stifling .875 this year and since then, hit over .500 in 14 matches this campaign.

 

 

In league games alone, Dixon hit .420, which only rivaled teammate Dana Knudsen. A Preseason All-Big Ten honoree, Dixon was a three-time winner of the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week. Against Penn State earlier this year, she accomplished a season-best 11 blocks, averaging 1.06 per set this season. Dixon ranked third on the team in aces (31), had 86 digs and produced 491.0 points In 126 sets played.

Dixon collected her 1,000th career kill on Dec. 1, as she helped Minnesota to a four-set win over Creighton to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16. She finished NCAA Tournament play with a hitting average of .379, collected 40 kills in 87 attempts and committed just four errors in four matches played.

Wittman was named a team captain last spring and has led the Gophers throughout the 2012 campaign. A 2012 Preseason All-Big Ten, Wittman ranked third on the team with 357 kills to average 2.86 kills per set. A six-rotation player, Wittman led the Gopher back row with 350 digs this season to average 2.80 digs per set. Wittman is the only current Gopher to establish over 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career. She now has 1,355 career kills and 1,085 career digs. Serving up 15 aces, she also averaged 0.47 blocks per set.

AVCA/NCAA All-America (team)

2012      Katherine Harms (1)

             Tori Dixon (2)

             Ashley Wittman (HM)

2011       Ashley Wittman (2)

                Tori Dixon (HM)

2009       Lauren Gibbemeyer (1)

                Taylor Carico (3)

2008       Brook Dieter (2)

                Lauren Gibbemeyer (3)

2006       Meredith Nelson (2)

                Malama Peniata (HM)

2005       Paula Gentil (HM)

2004       Kelly Bowman (1)

                Paula Gentil (1)

                Erin Martin (HM)

2003       Cassie Busse (1)

                Paula Gentil (2)

2002       Cassie Busse (2)

                Paula Gentil (3)

2000       Nicole Branagh (2)

                Stephanie Hagen (2)

1999       Nicole Branagh (2)

1996       Katrien DeDecker (1)

1982       Jill Halsted (HM)