The University of Minnesota volleyball program has announced the addition of middle blocker Phoebe Awoleye (Marietta, Ga./Loyola Marymount). She will have two seasons of eligibility remaining when she arrives on campus this summer.

“We’re excited to announce Phoebe Awoleye as the latest addition to the Gophers volleyball program,” said head coach Keegan Cook. “She comes to us as a physical and disciplined read blocker who has competed and succeeded in two high-level conferences. She is one of the rare athletes who at the later stage of her career has the exciting combination of an ability to compete immediately and still achieve significant growth.”

Prior to joining the ‘U’, Awoleye played her freshman and sophomore years (2020-21, 2021) at the University of Georgia and her junior year (2022) at Loyola Marymount. She played in 28 matches (104 sets) in 2022 at LMU, tallying 2.13 kills (.379 hitting) and 1.39 blocks per set on her way to First Team All-WCC honors. Awoleye helped LMU to an 18-10 (13-5 WCC) record last year as the team made the NCAA Tournament before falling to Oregon in the first round. She tallied 10 double digit kill matches and 19 games with five-or-more blocks in 2022. She was also named to the Pacific South All-Region Team.

“I’m extremely excited and blessed for the opportunity to join the Gopher family,” said Awoleye. “The moment I met everyone behind Minnesota volleyball, I knew that it was the place for me. I know that Minnesota will be an environment where I will be challenged to grow, both on and off the court. I’m really looking forward to this final chapter of my collegiate career.”

In the fall of 2021, she was one of two Georgia Bulldogs to start in all 29 matches, appearing in 112 total sets. She concluded the season with 171 kills (1.53 kps), a season .309 hitting percentage and 122 total blocks (1.09 bps). She finished the regular season fifth in total blocks and 12th in blocks per set in the SEC and picked up 15 five-plus blocks matches. During the spring of 2021, she was named a member of the 2020 SEC All-Freshman Team after she played in 60 sets in 18 matches, making 16 starts. Awoleye recorded 66 kills with a .219 hitting clip and led the team with 63 total blocks, concluding the season ranking fifth in the SEC with 1.05 blocks per set.

Minnesota began practicing in early January as the 2023 spring semester gets underway. The Gophers return seven athletes who started matches last year in the 2022 run to the NCAA Regional Semifinal.

First Team All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year Taylor Landfair, First Team All-Big Ten selection Melani Shaffmaster and Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection Mckenna Wucherer return to pace Minnesota in year one of the Keegan Cook era in Minneapolis.

In 2022, the ‘U’ finished No. 10 in the final AVCA Poll, its eighth straight top-10 finish nationally.

Phoebe Awoleye’s Collegiate Accolades:
All-WCC First Team (2022)
Pacific South All-Region Honorable Mention (2022)
SEC All-Freshman Team (2020-21)
SEC Academic Honor Roll (2020)

(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)

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