Honors continue for Gopher spikers

The Gopher volleyball team's banner season continued Wednesday with more postseason accolades for a pair of players as the team prepared for its NCAA Tournament quarterfinal match with Pepperdine.

Senior outside hitter Cassie Busse and sophomore libero Paula Gentil were named to the Midwest All-Region team for the second straight year on Wednesday. The teams are selected by the America Volleyball Coaches Association.

Busse, who last week was named Big Ten Player of the Year, also was a first-team academic All-American this year. The native of Prior Lake, Minn., is a two-time first-team all-Big Ten selection and ranks third in the conference in kills and first in service aces.

Gentil, a defensive specialist from Forteleaza Ceara', Brazil, also is a two-time first-team All-Big Ten pick and was the conference's Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year. She is just 17 digs short of the Big Ten record for a season, and in just two years she's already sixth on the school's career dig list, just 128 away from the school record.

The Gophers (24-10) finished tied for second place in the Big Ten at 15-5 and are ranked 14th in the nation. They play No. 4 Pepperdine (27-2) in the region semifinals of the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Long Beach, Calif. This is their fourth trip to the Sweet 16 in the last five years.

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