Minneapolis, MN (Gophersports.com) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association has announced that Sarah Wilhite (Eden Prairie, Minn.) was named 2016 AVCA Division I Player of the Year. The award was presented at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet in Columbus, Ohio. This is the first ever Player of the Year award for Minnesota.

In her senior season, Wilhite was named Big Ten Player of the Year, espnW Player of the Year, and earned First Team All-American honors. She ended her career with a team-best 537 kills and averaged 4.26 kills per set. As an outside hitter, Wilhite finished her collegiate career with a .288 hitting clip, and ranked second on the team in digs (327) and aces (29). As a four-time Big Ten Player of the Week and recipient of AVCA National Player of the Week, Wilhite has led the Gophers in match kills 27 times and hit over .300 19 times this year.

"It's such an honor and a privilege to represent the University of Minnesota volleyball program. It's a great opportunity. I couldn't do it without my teammates and my coaches, they've been there for me since the beginning. I'm just so happy and honored to have recieved this award."

In her final match of the season, Wilhite accomplished her 13 double-double of the season, with 25 kills and 13 digs.