Minnesota's female sports stars dominated in 2016

The Lynx, Gophers and Concordia-St. Paul women helped put together another strong year.
Publish date:

You're paying attention to the wrong chromosome if you think Minnesota had an awful year in 2016. While the Vikings, Wolves, Twins and Gophers football and men's basketball teams were setting new standards for ineptitude, Minnesota's female stars dominated.

In case you were sleeping under a rock, here's what you missed

Lynx make another Finals appearance

The Minnesota Lynx made another trip to the WNBA Finals in October – their fifth trip since 2011. They were a lousy call away from hoisting their 4th WNBA Championship.

Officiating aside, the Lynx still posted the best record in the league last season. Their core of Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson doesn't appear to be slowing down at all.

Gopher women's hockey

Similar to the Lynx, all the Gopher women's hockey team does is win championships. They claimed their fourth NCAA title in five years last March when they upset Boston College 3-1.

It was the program's sixth championship, making them the winningest team in women's college hockey history.

Gopher volleyball

The Gopher women's volleyball team played in the crowded Big Ten, which produced eight NCAA Tournament teams. But as the best of the best, the U of M cruised through the NCAAs and made the Final Four for a second consecutive year.

Samantha Seliger-Swenson and Sarah Wilhite were first-team All Americans with Wilhite being named the national player of the year.

Rachel Banham's record-setting year

Banham's story is remarkable. After tearing her ACL the season before, she averaged just south of 30 points during her senior season with the Gophers. Banham retired as the program's all-time leader in points and was named an First Team All-American.

In April she was drafted No. 4 overall by the Connecticut Sun. Her Gophers jersey will be retired at Williams Arena on New Year's Day

Concordia-St. Paul volleyball

The Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears are running out of space to hang all of their volleyball banners. In December, the Bears won their eighth national championship in last 10 years.

In their last 14 trips to the NCAA tournament, the Golden Bears have posted a phenomenal 61-6 record.

The Coach of the Year

Eden Prairie High School girl's hockey coach Jamie Grossman was named the All-USA Girls Hockey Coach of the Year by USA Today after leading the Eagles to the Class 2A state title.

Natalie Snodgrass of Eastview and Pattie Marshall of Shattuck-St. Mary's made the All-USA First Team in girls hockey while Red Wing's Taylor Heise, Minnetonka's Presley Norby, Blaine's Emily Brown and Breck's Jenna Brenneman were named to the second team.

Next Up