Sarah Wilhite, whose hitting propelled the Gophers to the NCAA Final Four in her senior season, was named the national player of the year Friday.

Wilhite, a an outside hitter from Eden Prairie, is the first national player of the year for the Gophers. The award is presented by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

The senior also was a first-team All-America and Big Ten Player of the Year, finishing the season with 537 kills (4.26 per set) and a .288 hitting percentage.