After dominating opposing teams in this shortened spring season, Minnesota Golden Gophers senior opposite hitter Stephanie Samedy was named the Big Ten Player of the Year on Thursday. She joins an additional pair of Gophers in Regan Pittman and Taylor Landfair on being named First Team All-Big Ten.
Samedy made the most of her weird senior season. She led the Big Ten averaging 4.11 kills per set and 4.63 points per set. She led the Gophers in kills with 259, and hit .278 in 668 attempts. In 17 matches this year she recorded 20-plus kills in four of them, which considering most of Minnesota’s wins came 3-0 is an impressive feat. She became the first person since 2011 to accumulate 20-plus kills and 20-plus digs in a single match which earned her a AVCA National Player of the Week honor. She becomes the seventh Gopher in history to win the Big Ten Player of the Year Award, and she is now a four time All-Big Ten selection.
Joining Samedy on the First Team All-Big Ten list is senior middle blocker Regan Pittman and true freshman outside hitter Taylor Landfair. Pittman was a unanimous selection after averaging 1.62 kills per set and 1.40 blocks per set this season. She was also the Gophers best threat from the service line leading Minnesota with 22 aces on the season. Pittman was named a Defensive Player of the Week once this season, and had two matches where she recorded double-digit blocks including typing a career-high 14 blocks in a single match against Nebraska.
Landfair made her presence known immediately in her first season with the Gophers. Taylor averaged 3.00 kills per set this season, led the Gophers in match kills five times this and recorded double-digit kills 11 times. Her 186 kills this season ranked second on the team.
The Gophers landed one player on the Second Team All-Big Ten list as junior outside hitter Adana Rollins was so honored. She ranked ranked third on the team with 158 kills and averaged 2.63 per set. She also accumulated 171 digs, 2.85 per set, and also averaged 0.57 blocks per set.
Along with Landfair freshman setter Melanie Shaffmaster was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team. Shaffmaster averaged 9.61 assists per set and recorded double doubles in eight matches this season in assists and digs. She was a two-time Big Ten Setter of the Week and one-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree.
Minnesota will next be in action in the NCAA Tournament in the Round of 32 when they will take on the winner of Georgia Tech and Lipscomb at 6 PM on April 15th on ESPN3.