After an impressive 4-0 start to the season, senior middle blocker Tori Dixon and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers volleyball team are quite happy. Dixon and her teammates won the UAB/Samford Challenge without dropping a set and solidified themselves as one of the top teams in the country.
Dixon led the Gophers in most offensive categories and was named to the All-Tournament team over the weekend. She was also awarded Big Ten Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career. The Burnsville native helped Minnesota move up to fourth place in the most recent AVCA Division I volleyball poll released on Monday.
Minnesota came into the preseason ranked No. 6 nationally, but the combination of their tournament sweep and a loss by No.1 Texas this week helped propel the Maroon and Gold into the Top 5 for the first time since the end of the 2009 season when Minnesota reached the Final Four.
Dixon and the Gophers open their home schedule Friday against Ball State in the Diet Coke Classic at the Sports Pavillion.
In Other News…
- In other volleyball news, fellow Minnesota senior Ashley Wittman was named a candidate to the 2013 Senior CLASS Award last week. Wittman is one of 30 seniors up for the award this season who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
- According to Darren Wolfson of KSTP, the Gophers are a 21-point favorite in Las Vegas for their game against New Mexico State this Saturday. That is without the services of running backs and Donnell Kirkwood and Berkley Edwards, who are both questionable for the game. Minnesota was a 14-point favorite in their game against UNLV in which they won by 28.