Awards flow in for volleyball following stellar weekend

by Brian Stensaas

After defeating defending national champion Penn State — handing the Lions their first home loss since 1995 — and Indiana on the road last weekend, accolades are piling up for Minnesota volleyball team.
The Gophers moved up one spot to No. 5 in the USA Today poll, setting a new high for the program. The previous mark was sixth, set last week.
The Gophers are now 15-0 and 4-0 in the Big Ten. Their 15-match tear is the longest current streak in the nation.
Stephanie Hagen, in particular, was rewarded for Minnesota’s impressive performance. The junior middle blocker was named the Big Ten and AVCA national player of the week. Hagen finished the weekend averaging 6.14 kills per game, 3.14 digs per game and 1.29 blocks per game.
“I’m surprised and excited of course,” Hagen said of the honors. “I’m really happy with it.”
Hagen said she was most pleased with her performance at Penn State, where finished with 22 kills, one less than her career high.
“It was like an all-out war there,” she said. “I was happy that the team was able to come out of there with that win.”
This is the third time a member of the Minnesota volleyball squad has been named as national player of the week. Becky Bauer was first in 1996 while senior Nicole Branagh won the award last season. Hagen is the third member of this year’s team to be named Big Ten player of the week. Branagh and junior Lindsey Berg were honored last month as co-players of the week with other Big Ten players.