Earlier this week the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced the 2018 Division I All-American teams. The Minnesota Golden Gophers were well represented on the teams as both Samantha Seliger-Swenson and Stephanie Samedy were named to the First Team, Regan Pittman was named to the second team, and Alexis Hart, Taylor Morgan and Adanna Rollins were named Honorable Mention.
Seliger-Swenson completed her senior season as the most decorated player in Gopher history. With her First Team honor she becomes the only player in Minnesota history to be a four time All-American. This is her second First Team All-American honor with a second and a third as well. She ends her career at Minnesota with 5,674 assists which ranks fourth in school history.
Samedy earned her second consecutive First Team All-American honor—which considering she is just a sophomore is rather impressive and sets her up to one-up SSS in two years if all goes well. She led the Gophers with 359 kills, averaged and 3.49 kills per set, she was second on the team with 319 digs, and recorded 82 blocks and 21 aces.
Redshirt sophomore Regan Pittman earned her first All-American honor by hitting a team-best .400. In 552 attempts, Pittman also had 274 kills. She also had 121 blocks and averaged 1.14 blocks per set this season.
Hart was a third team All-American a year ago and took a slight step back after being bothered by nagging injuries early in the season. She ranked second on the team in kills (296) and kills per set (3.02).
Morgan is a great story. She returned to the Gophers after suffering her fourth knee injury this spring and earned a spot in the lineup for the first time in her career in preseason camp. She had 249 kills and averaged 2.42 per set.
Rollins earned a honorable mention nomination in her freshman season. Rollins was named the North Region Freshman of the Year and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team. She ranked third on the team with 277 kills and averaged 2.59 per set, and has a very promising future.
While the Gophers season ended on a sour note, the future looks bright. The Gophers will return five of their six All-Americans next season with only Seliger-Swenson graduating. It will be a huge hole to fill in the setter positon, but Minnesota brings in a good recruiting class and will be ready to compete with the rest of the nation’s best once again in 2019.