Gophers volleyball senior outside hitter Sarah Wilhite is the Big Ten Player of the Year and sophomore Samantha Seliger-Swenson is the Setter of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday.
The Gophers also earned All-Big Ten honors for Wilhite, Seliger-Swensen and senior middle blocker Hannah Tapp. Junior middle blocker Molly Lohman was named All-Big Ten honorable mention, outside hitter Alexis Hart was an All-Freshman honoree, and senior middle blocker Paige Tapp earned the sportsmanship award.
Player of the Year has been awarded to a Gophers standout each of the past two years with Daly Santana claiming it in 2015.
Wilhite, and Eden Prairie product, has 451 kills, averaging 4.14 kills per set in 1,151 attempts for a .294 hitting percentage. She also has 284 digs, 27 aces, 52 blocks, a team-best 22 match kills, and picked up four Big Ten Player of the Week honors this season.
Seliger-Swenson, a Hopkins High School product, followed up her 2015 Freshman of the Year honors with Setter of the Year after establishing herself as one of the best in the nation at her position. She is ranked ninth nationally with 11.45 assists per set and earned a team-high 12 double-doubles this season. Seliger-Swenson also has 254 digs, 31 aces and 63 blocks.
Nebraska coach John Cook was named Big Ten Coach of the Year and Cornhuskers’ Justine Wong-Orantes the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Wisconsin’s Molly Haggerty earned Freshman of the Year honors.
The Gophers are the No. 2 national seed in the NCAA tournament after finishing tied for second in the Big Ten standings with a 25-4 overall, 17-3 conference record. They host North Dakota, Southern California and Hawaii at the Sports Pavilion for the first and second rounds this weekend. The Gophers face North Dakota at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets went on sale Tuesday.
Player of the Year
Sarah Wilhite, MINN
Defense Player of the Year
Justine Wong-Orantes, NEB
Setter of the Year
Samantha Seliger-Swenson, MINN
Freshman of the Year
Molly Haggerty, WIS
Coach of the Year
John Cook, NEB
Ali Bastianelli, So., MB, ILL; Jordyn Poulter, So., S, ILL; ABBY COLE, Sr., MB, MICH; Alyssa Garvelink, Jr., MB, MSU; SARAH WILHITE, Sr., OH MINN; SAMANTHA SELIGER-SWENSON, So., S, MINN; Hannah Tapp, Sr., MB, MINN; Kelly Hunter, Jr., S, NEB; Amber Rolfzen, Sr., MB, NEB; KADIE ROLFZEN, Sr., OH, NEB; JUSTINE WONG-ORANTES, Sr., L, NEB; TAYLOR SANDBOTHE, Sr., MB, OSU; SIMONE LEE, Jr., OH, PSU; HALEIGH WASHINGTON, Jr., MB, PSU; DANIELLE CUTTINO, Jr., OH, PUR; LAUREN CARLINI, Sr., S, WIS; Haleigh Nelson, Sr., MB WIS; Tionna Williams, So., MB, WIS
Brandi Donnelly, Jr., L, ILL; Jazzmine McDonald, Sr., MB, IND; Loxley Keala, Sr., S, IOWA; Gia Milana, Fr., OH, MD; MacKenzi Welsh, Fr., S, MICH; Autumn Bailey, Jr., OH, MSU; Rachel Minarick, Jr., S, MSU; Molly Lohman, Jr., MB, MINN; Mikaela Foecke, So., OH, NEB; Briana Holman, Jr., MB, NEB; Symone Abbott, Jr., OH, NU; Taylor Hughes, So., S, OSU; Faye Adelaja, Sr., MB, PUR; Molly Haggerty, Fr., OH, WIS
Jacqueline Quade, OH, ILL; GIA MILANA, OH, MD; MacKenzi Welsh, S, MICH; Alexis Hart, OH, MINN; Tori Gorrell, MB, PSU; Kendall White, L, PSU; MOLLY HAGGERTY, OH, WIS
Sportsmanship Award honorees
Katie Stadick, ILL; Jessica Leish, IND; Ashley Mariana, IOWA; Samantha Higginbothem, MD; Kelly Murphy, MICH; Allyssah Fitterer, MSU; Paige Tapp, MINN; Brooke Smith, NEB; Caleigh Ryan, NU; Kylie Randall, OSU; Faye Adelaja, PUR; Laura Broerman, PSU; Mikaela Matthews, RU; Tori Blake, WIS
Unanimous selections in CAPS