Wittman named Big Ten Player of the Week

Charlie Armitz

Gophers volleyball star Ashley Wittman has been named Big Ten Player of the Week for the second time in her career.

A sophomore outside hitter, Wittman led Minnesota with 45 kills at the Marquette Challenge in Milwaukee, Wis., this past weekend. She had 20 kills in the team’s 3-0 win over Middle Tennessee State, and 25 kills in the team’s 3-2 win over host Marquette.

She hit .422 for the tournament — second-best on the team to Ariana Filho (.537) — and added 18 digs, four solo blocks and four block assists.

Both Wittman and Filho made the All-Tournament team, with Wittman receiving MVP honors.

Wittman was previously named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Sept. 13, 2010.

Lauren Gibbemeyer was the last Gopher to earn Big Ten Player of the Week honors when she did it on Nov. 1, 2010.

Minnesota (7-2) heads into Big Ten play as the No. 9 team in the nation, as reported Monday in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll. The Gophers were ranked ninth last week as well.

If the Gophers sweep No. 3 Illinois and Northwestern at home this weekend, they may have a chance of ranking in the AVCA Top-5 for the first time since 2009.