Minnesota Volleyball: Ashley Wittman Earns Big Ten Defensive Player Of The Week

Gopher Athletics

Another week, another Gopher award winner.

In case you haven't caught on to the theme here, the Gopher Volleyball team is pretty darn good and has some excellent players. The player most recently honored for outstanding performances is senior outside hitter Ashley Wittman, who received her first B1G Defensive Player of the week award:

University of Minnesota volleyball senior captain Ashley Wittman was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, announced today by the league office. It is Wittman’s six career weekly conference honor and first in the defensive category. Wittman received weekly honors three times as a freshman, twice as a sophomore and once her senior campaign.

Wittman, a 6-foot outside hitter, led the Gopher offensive and defensive charge as Minnesota swept Indiana and No. 20 Purdue this past weekend. The senior captain had nine kills and tied a match-high eight digs in the win over the Hoosiers en route to her 1,500th-career kill. On Sunday, Wittman added her fifth double-double of the season when she established match-highs in both kills (15) and digs (14). On the weekend, Wittman led the team with 24 kills, 22 digs (3.67 per set), and 29.5 points, while she ranked second with 10 blocks (1.67 per set). The six-rotation player also hit .339 to open Big Ten play.

The win over Purdue was a dominating one, as the Gophers shut out the Boilermakers 3-0 in straight sets.

As a team, Minnesota bettered its hitting in each set. The Gophers won the first set hitting .135, followed by .350 in the second and .500 in the third. Minnesota finished the match hitting .318, while only allowing Purdue a .144 match clip. The Gophers also out blocked the Boilermakers, 12.0-3.0.

...

Notables:
-The double-double was Wittman's fifth of the year and 53rd of her career. It also also marked the 10th time this season she's had double-digit kills.
-Dixon recorded her 12th double-digit kill mark of the season.
-Minnesota had three players produce five blocks. It tied a season-high for Wittman.
-The Gophers have now hit over .300 in 12 matches this season. Minnesota has also held its opponents to less than a .200 hit clip 12 times this year.
-The match was the second ranked opponent Minnesota saw this year and is now, 1-1 against ranked teams.

Minnesota is now 14-1 (2-0) and are ranked #9 in the country as of today (a new poll will come out later, likely right after this posts). Ashley and the Gophers will be making another appearance on BTN this week as they face #12 (as of today) Nebraska in Lincoln. That match is set for 7pm. On Saturday, the team faces off against Iowa in Iowa City, also at 7pm.

Hats off to you Ashley!

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