Minnesota had three players receive All-America honors according to an announcement by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) on Wednesday, Dec. 17. Sophomore outside hitter Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) was named a Second-Team All-American, sophomore middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) received third-team honors and junior libero Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) received honorable-mention honors.
Overall, Minnesota was one of 11 programs in the nation to have multiple players named to one of the three All-American teams. The Golden Gophers joined Penn State as one of only two programs in the Big Ten to do so.
It also marked the first time since 2004 that Minnesota put two players on one of three All-America teams. The Golden Gophers also did so in 2000 (Nicole Branagh and Stephanie Hagen each made second-team), 2002 (Cassie Busse made second-team and Paula Gentil made third team) and in 2004 (Kelly Bowman and Gentil each made first-team).
Dieter joins Nicole Branagh (Second-Team in 1999 & 2000), Katrien DeDecker (First-Team in 1996), Chris Schaefer (Third-Team in 1989) and Andrea Gonzalez (Second-Team in 1988) as one of five outside hitters to receive All-America honors for the Golden Gophers (Cassie Busse received All-American in honors in 2002 and 2003 as an opposite hitter). Dieter is also the first Golden Gopher outside hitter to claim All-America honors since Branagh claimed Second-Team honors in 2000.
Branagh, DeDecker, Dieter and Gonzalez are the only four outside hitters in school history to claim Second-Team or higher honors. Dieter is also the only Golden Gopher outside hitter in school history to claim the honors as a sophomore. She joins Kelly Bowman (2004), Paula Gentil (2002 & 03) and Gibbemeyer as the only underclassmen in school history to claim All-American honors.
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 joins Meredith Nelson (Second-Team in 2006), Stephanie Hagen (Second-team in 2000) and Jill Halsted (First-Team in 1981) as only the fourth middle blocker in school history to claim the honors. Gibbemeyer is also the first Golden Gopher middle blocker to claim the honors as a sophomore.
She was also one of only 11 middle blockers in the nation to receive All-America honors, and one of only seven to be named to either the first or second team. Gibbemeyer joined Christa Harmotto (Penn State), Stephanie Lynch (Purdue) and Arielle Wilson (Penn State) as one of four middle blockers from the Big Ten to receive the honors.
Gibbemeyer finished the season leading the team in kills (405), blocks (174) and hitting percentage (.316). She is currently 14th 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).
She also 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. Gibbemeyer missed tying Charnette Fair for the school record of 175 (in 1999) by one block. In her first two seasons at Minnesota, 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.
Tan joined Malama Peniata (2006) and Paula Gentil (2005) on the list of Golden Gopher liberos to claim Honorable-Mention All-American honors (Gentil claimed third-team in 2002, second-team in 2003 and first-team in 2004).
She 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. 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.