Gophers seniors Dixon, Wittman named All-Big Ten in volleyball

  • Article by: NEWS SERVICES
  • Updated: December 3, 2013 - 9:27 PM

Seniors Tori Dixon, a middle blocker from Burnsville, and Ashley Wittman, an outside hitter from Shakopee, were named to the All-Big Ten team. Both were unanimous picks.

Teammate Hannah Tapp, a middle blocker from Stewartville, Minn., was named to the all-freshman conference team. Sophomore Daly Santana of Corozal, Puerto Rico, received the Gophers’ sportsmanship award.

Dixon led the Gophers in kills with 414, in hitting at .393 and blocks 151. Wittman was second on the team in kills with 380 and first in digs with 385.

United FC keeps 11

Minnesota United FC announced Tuesday it is exercising its options on 11 players, meaning they will return for the 2014 season.

Among them are forward Simone Bracalello, who had seven goals and six assists; defender Brian Kallman, of Woodbury, who will be back for an eighth season; captain Aaron Pitchkolan, a defender named to the NASL’s Best XI, and goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel.

‘‘We have some strong pieces in place now and we will continue to build our roster for the 2014 season,” coach Manny Lagos said.

Others coming back: defenders Justin Davis, Cristiano Dias and Brent Kallman; midfielders Floyd Franks, Miguel Ibarra and Kentaro Takada, and forward Nate Polak.

Ibarra also was named one of the Best XI.

Ambroz recognized

Junior right winger Seth Ambroz of the Gophers was named the Big Ten’s first star of the week. He scored four goals, including the two winners, as Minnesota swept visiting Wisconsin in its first conference series.

Etc.

• Junior Scott Schiller of the Gophers was named the Big Ten’s wrestler of the week. He defeated No. 1-ranked Taylor Meeks 3-1 in overtime at 197 pounds in a dual with Oregon State. Meeks had been 10-0, including an early-season victory over Schiller. After the victory, No. 2-ranked Schiller and Meeks switched spots in InterMat’s national rankings this week.

• For the 37th consecutive time, the Gophers were the No. 1 team in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine women’s hockey poll. They received all 19 first-place. Wisconsin was ranked second, North Dakota fifth.

• Junior forward Jean-Paul Lafontaine of Minnesota State Mankato was the WCHA’s offensive player of the week. He had three goals and two assists in the Mavericks’ sweep of Alaska Anchorage last weekend.

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