Numerous accolades for the Gopher Volleyball team were announced today. Sarah Wilhite received the highest honors being named AVCA Player of the Week, Big Ten Player of the Week, and Big Ten Player of the Year. The weekly laurels for Wilhite came after leading the Gophers to wins over #1 Nebraska and #3 Wisconsin. This was fourth time this season she was named B1G Player of the Week.
Wilhite was key in both victories tallying 19 kills and 25 digs against the Huskers and 23 kills and 19 digs against the Badgers while hitting .296 over both matches. Wilhite showed poise at critical points in both matches, especially in the later sets, as Minnesota secured the #2 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Wilhite has done a tremendous job this season filling the void left by Daly Santana and leading this Gopher squad. In doing so this season she was recognized by the conference coaches as the Big Ten Player of the Year; which Santana won last year. This season Wilhite is averaging 4.14 kills per set- 2nd best in the conference, 0.25 service aces per set, and 2.61 digs per set. She’s posted 11 double-doubles this season.
Samantha Seliger-Swenson was also tabbed as a top performer in conference earning Setter of the Year. Seliger-Swenson puts up 11.45 assists per set as she led the offense to a .290 hitting percentage this season.
Wilhite and Seliger-Swenson were unanimous All-Big Ten selections and they are joined by teammate Hannah Tapp who was also a first team selection. Alexis Hart was named to the All-Freshman Team. Molly Lohman earned Honorable Mention. Paige Tapp was awarded the conference’s Sportsmanship award for Minnesota.
Justine Wong-Orantes of Nebraska was the B1G Defensive Player of the Year and her coach, John Cook, was the Coach of the Year. Badger Molly Haggerty was the conferences Freshman of the Year.
Minnesota will look to surpass last year’s semi-final appearance starting with their first round match against North Dakota Friday evening at 7:00 CT.