Milana Earns Big Ten Postseason Honors

Maryland Athletics
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – After an outstanding first season as a Terp, freshman outside hitter Gia Milana earned two Big Ten postseason honors, as announced by the conference on Tuesday. Milana was tabbed an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention pick and was also unanimously selected to the All-Freshman Team.
“We’re proud of Gia and the success she’s had as a freshman in this program,” head coach Steve Aird said. “She’s an elite player who wants to put in the work and continue to get better. She competed hard this season, even as she dealt with injuries. Gia is an important piece as the team continues to welcome new talent and grow, and we look forward to seeing her continue to get better.”
Milana started all 32 matches as a six-rotation outside hitter. The Romeo, Mich., native notched double-digit kills in 26 matches, including a season-high 23 at Purdue. She finished the season leading Maryland and ranking fifth in the Big Ten with 3.91 kills per set. Milana also led conference freshman in kills per set.
Milana knocked down a total of 446 kills in 2016 to finish sixth in the Maryland single-season record books. It is also a new Maryland freshman record in kills.
“This is an incredible honor, not just for me but for my team as well,” Milana said. “Hitting is the last of three touches in volleyball, so I’m fully dependent on my teammates to be put in a position to be successful. I’m super excited for the direction this team is moving in. We have a lot of talent coming in, and I can’t wait to continue growing as a Terp.”
The outside hitter finished second on the team with 2.35 digs per set, which ranked sixth among conference newcomers. Milana finished the season with a team-high 10 double-doubles, which was the fifth-most in the Big Ten this season.
Milana is Maryland’s second honorable mention All-Big Ten selection, and the Terps’ first-ever All-Freshman team pick. She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Nov. 14.
The No. 15 Senior Ace in her class, Milana came to Maryland as the highest-ranked recruit in program history. She was the Terps’ first-ever Under Armour First Team All-American and was a member of Maryland’s first-ever ranked recruiting class. Next season, the Terrapins welcome four 2016 Under Armour All-Americans.
Maryland played its most difficult schedule in 2016 as the Terps faced 16 teams that were either ranked or received votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll at the time of competition.
Junior defensive specialist Samantha Higginbothem was selected as Maryland’s Sportsmanship Award recipient.