Paige Tapp leads on the court, in classes

The senior is set to graduate a semester early this winter with a 3.83 GPA.

Senior Paige Tapp spikes the ball on Saturday Oct. 29, 2016 in the Sports Pavilion.

Chris Dang

Senior Paige Tapp spikes the ball on Saturday Oct. 29, 2016 in the Sports Pavilion.

Tommy Sletten

Between summer workouts, early practices, and a loaded regular-season schedule, being an exemplary student could get lost in the shuffle in the life of an athlete — but not for Paige Tapp.

Tapp has proved that she can handle it all — as a solid contributor to Minnesota’s volleyball program all while maintaining a 3.83 GPA in the classroom.

“She’s a model student-athlete. She gets it done on the court and gets it done in the classroom; that’s all we can ask,” said head coach Hugh McCutcheon. “It’s wonderful to have someone so driven and so high-achieving in both areas. She’s been a great example of what the student-athlete life should be.”

Tapp has seen the Minnesota volleyball team grow over the last four years, from a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team to a National Championship contender.

The senior middle blocker is using the consistency she’s honed over the past four years to help lead the squad to where they are now.

“We have an incredibly deep team, and I’ve been able to work on my game in all different aspects,” Tapp said. “I think I’ve been able to become a more well-rounded player here with the depth on our team.”

Tappsaw minimal action her freshman year and played in just 21 sets total. However, Tapp came into her own her sophomore year, being named All-Big Ten, and amassing 171 blocks.

Her junior year she started all 35 matches and played in all 129 sets. She was second on team in blocks with 150, and third on team in kills with 296.

This year, Tapp has continued her consistent play with 172 kills and 107 blocks, good for second on the team.

She’s been named an All-American two times in her career for her efforts.

While Tapp has seen massive success on the court, she also is a very successful student.

She was named Minnesota’s first Academic All-American in volleyball in over a decade and is also set to graduate this winter, a semester early, from the Carlson School of Management.

Tapp and her twin sister, Hannah, who will also graduate early, were recently named finalists for the volleyball Senior CLASS Award, a plaudit highlighting senior student-athletes who epitomize community, classroom, character and competition.

Both will graduate with marketing degrees and though the two have played together for four seasons, it’s hard to envision anything else.

The work that Paige and Hannah Tapp have put in on and off the court in their college careers will hopefully pay dividends for their futures in volleyball, which they’d like to take on together – as always.

“The hope is to continue playing professionally for a few years. We would start this spring and continue that for as long as we’d like. I say we as in Hannah and I, that’s her plan too. I always do that,” Paige Tapp laughed. “I never say ‘I’ … it’s always ‘we’ or ‘us.’”

Emily Polglaze contributed to this report.