Minnesota’s Paige Tapp wins the 2016 Senior CLASS Award® for Women’s Volleyball

December 14, 2016

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (December 14, 2016) – University of Minnesota middle blocker Paige Tapp has been selected as the 2016 Senior CLASS Award® winner in NCAA® Division I women’s volleyball. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I volleyball coaches, national volleyball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. While there have been multiple Senior CLASS Award All-Americans from the University of Minnesota, Tapp is the first Golden Gopher from any sport to be named the overall winner.

“It’s an honor to receive the Senior CLASS Award,” said Tapp, whose Golden Gophers will take on Stanford tomorrow in the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Final Four. “My time at the University of Minnesota has been the best experience of my life. I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and the people who have helped me succeed these past four years. I have been pushed, tested, and empowered to be the best version of myself in all aspects of life. I know that beyond my career as a Gopher, my time here has prepared me for a great future. I cannot thank my coaches enough for their investment and guidance in my life; I can truly say that they have made me who I am today.”

Already a two-time All-American for her outstanding play at middle blocker, Tapp ranked second in blocks per set (1.08) on a team that finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. As the starting middle blocker, she helped the Gophers to an active 36-game home court winning streak that started on October25, 2014. An All-Big Ten selection as a junior, Tapp also earned two AVCA All-Region honors (2015, 2016) during her impressive career.

Also a standout in the classroom, Tapp is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America, earning first-team honors this season and second-team honors in 2015. Carrying an impressive 3.88 GPA as a marketing major, Tapp graduated this month, completing her coursework in just 3.5 years.

“We are so proud of Paige and could not be happier with her selection as the 2016 Senior CLASS Award winner,” said Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon. “Paige is a very accomplished student-athlete and a great representative of our program and university. In our opinion, she embodies what all student-athletes should aspire to: excellence in the classroom, on the court, and in the community.”

Beyond the court and the classroom, Tapp is a well-respected competitor in the Big Ten whose commitment to high character and community service also have received recognition. The Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree from Minnesota this season, Tapp has over 16 hours of community service work through M.A.G.I.C. (Maroon and Gold Impacting the Community) and Athletes in Action Ultimate Training Camp, and has participated in the Student-Athlete Advisory Council and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She also has assisted in fundraising events for Unlimited Dance Marathon and has volunteered at the Gopher Athletics’ HopeDay Festival, an annual event that works in conjunction with the HopeKids organization.

“On behalf of everyone associated with the Senior CLASS Award, we congratulate Paige on being selected as this year’s winner for women’s volleyball,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “Her commitment to all-around excellence on and off the court is truly impressive, and her desire to make a positive impact on others makes her a wonderful model for others to follow.”

For more information, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

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Volleyball 2016 Winner

Name Position School
Paige Tapp Middle Blocker University of Minnesota

First Team

Name Position School
Inky Ajanaku Middle Blocker Stanford University
Jazzmin Babers Middle Blocker Texas A&M
Kadie Rolfzen Outside Hitter Nebraska
Lauren Smith Middle Blocker Creighton

Second Team

Name Position School
Amy Boswell Middle blocker BYU
Katie Brand Setter Kansas State University
Claire Felix Middle Blocker UCLA
Hannah Tapp Right Side Hitter/ Middle Blocker University of Minnesota
Taylor Whittingham Libero University of Southern California