Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif./Miramonte) and junior middle blocker Stephanie Hagen (Minnetonka, Minn./Hopkins) were named to the Division I Second Team All-America team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. The AVCA chose 12 players to the first team and 12 players to the second team. Branagh was selected to the AVCA Second Team All-America for the second year in a row, while it is Hagen's first-ever All-America award.
Branagh becomes Minnesota's first-ever two-time All-American in the sport of volleyball. She is the 2000 Big Ten Co-Player of the Year and completed her career with 2,379 kills, the most in Big Ten history and sixth all-time in NCAA history. Branagh led the Big Ten in kills for the final two years of her career and is a three-time All-Big Ten selection. She did not miss a match in her 134-match Minnesota career.
Hagen led the Big Ten this season with a 1.53 blocks per game average and ranked eighth nationally before post-season play. She was also Minnesota's leader in hitting percentage, with a .373 mark. Hagen set a Minnesota single-season record with 151 block assists and is Minnesota's all-time leader in hitting percentage, with a .354 average. She was the AVCA National Player of the Week on Oct. 2.
Minnesota finished the 2000 volleyball season with a 30-4 record, with its .882 winning percentage setting a school record. The Gophers finished second in the Big Ten, just one match behind Wisconsin. Minnesota advanced to the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year.
2000 AVCA Division I All-America Teams
First Team - Dana Burkholder, S, Arizona; Greichaly Cepero, S, Nebraska; Kara Gormsen, S, Pacific; Lily Kahumoku, OH, Hawaii; Angela Knopf, MB, Colorado State; Sherisa Livingston, MB, Wisconsin; Sarah McFarland, OH, Loyola Marymount; Laura Pilakowski, OH, Nebraska; Kristee Porter, OH, UCLA; Nina Puikkonen, MB, Brigham Young; Logan Tom, OH, Stanford; Cheryl Weaver, MB, Long Beach State
Second Team - Nicole Branagh, OH, Minnesota; Amanda Burbridge, OH, Arizona State; Courtney Cox, OH, Colorado State; Lizzy Fitzgerald, S, Wisconsin; Stephanie Hagen, MB, Minnesota; Amber Holmquist, MB, Nebraska; Jennifer Joines, MB, Pacific; Mishka Levy, MB, Penn State; Jennifer Pahl, MB, Southern California; April Ross, OH, Southern California; Brooke Rundle, S, UC Santa Barbara; Colleen Smith, OH, Texas Tech