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Minnesota Volleyball, Soccer, Cross Country, and Beyond: Preview/Review – Better Late Than Never Edition

Gopher Volleyball, Soccer, Cross Country, Tennis, Swimming, Softball, Rowing, Hockey, and Golf, oh my! So many non-revs, so little time. Read on for a review/preview of Gopher Soccer and Volleyball plus some quick jottings on the other sports.

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First off, there is a new issue of Ski-U-Mah magazine out, read it here.



When I first got invited to become a writer for The Daily Gopher I planned on writing a primer on each of the non-rev sports, plans have changed. I blame procrastination along with a new baby (#2) & a new job, plus the fact I rather play some sports than write about them. That said, if you are a fan of a sport, I suggest, no beg, that you write a fanpost about it. If you are overwhelmed by the editing tool or aren't sure what to do, write it in Word and send it to me, I'll give you credit (and add pictures and what not). Enough with this excuse for an intro, lets get on to business!





Game 1 - vs. Ohio State (Wednesday, 09/24/2014)

The Big Ten opener. The Gopher's entered this game ranked #17 in the nation. I was at this game and was surprised that Ohio State provided as much of a challenge as they did; not too surprised, the Gophers are young and do sometimes have difficulty putting away teams that are above average as quickly as they should. It took the Gophers 5 sets, with Ohio State winning the first and 4th set; 21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 27-29, & 15-12. Gophers had several opportunities at match point in the 4th set but let Ohio State come back. Still a good job by the Gophers.



Game 2 - vs. #3 Penn State (Saturday, 09/27/2014)

This was a game the Gophers were expected to lose and they did, but not without showing some fight. The Gophers actually won the first set over #3 Penn State 29-27 before being overwhelmed in the next two sets, 13-25 & 15-25. They fought back in the 4th set but fell 22-25. Not a bad showing by these young Gophers, Penn State will need to watch out in the future.



Gophers ended this week down one spot in the national polls to #18.

In other news, in Division II, Minnesota-Duluth is #2 in the nation and Concordia-St. Paul is #3, and Minnesota State-Mankato is #34. In Division III, St. Thomas is at #13 and Augsburg is #24.

ESPN has an article on how Minnesota is "The Land of 12,000 Volleyball Players (and Counting)" It exams how the club scene is making Minnesota a hotbed of Volleyball development and how the Gophers have benefited.

Gopherspots has a profile on Senior Adrianna Nora who has been having a fantastic season.




Yesterday (10/01/2014) @ #16 Illinois

Spoiler alert, they lost in 3 straight sets. More on this next week.

Sunday (10/05/2014) @ Northwestern (1:00 pm CST on BTN Plus)

Look for the Gophers to win their first Big Ten road game but Northwestern isn't bad.




The Gophers had a great weekend by winning by winning both games on the road!




Game 1 - At Purdue (Friday, 09/26/2014)

The Gophers played a tight game defeating Purdue 1-0 with the only score coming at 75th minute by Simone Kolander (SO). Gophers held the advantage over Purdue in shots (10-8), corner kicks (5-2), saves (3-2), and fouls (7-10).



Game 2 - At Indiana (Sunday, 9/28/2014)



The Gophers were victorious once more with a 2-1 double overtime win over Indiana. Indiana got on the board first and fast with a 1st half goal at the 7th minute. After that the Gopher's defense was stout, shutting out Indiana for the remainder of the game. The offense took a while to get going with the tying goal coming in the second half at the 75th minute with the winning goal coming in the 105th minute. This was the Gopher's first come from behind victory of the season as the previous 5 wins had all been shutouts.



The Gophers improved to 6-5-0 (3-2-0) on the season

For her efforts this last weekend, Ashley Pafko (SO) was named Big Ten defensive player of the week. Pafko was the player who scored the equalizing goal in the Indiana game. Congradulations Ashley!




Minnesota returns home to play two games this weekend. They will play Penn State (revenge our Volleyball team Gophers!) on Friday night at 7:00 pm to start off the weekend. Next they play Ohio State on Sunday at 1:00 pm. Penn State will be a real challenge as they are ranked #7 in the nation compared to the Gophers who are at #79. Ohio State is the more likely win as the Buckeyes are ranked behind the Gophers at #95. For full rankings, check out this link.



The Rest



Cross Country



The Gophers hosted the 29th Annual Roy Griak Invitational on September 29th. The men placed 3rd and are now ranked #27 in the nation. The women finished 7th. Up next for the men is the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on October 17th & the Jim Drews Invitational on October 18th; both events are in Wisconsin (but different locations). The women have a lot more travelling to do as they will be in Wisonsin on October 3rd for the  Blugold Invite, in South Dakota on October 4th for the SDSU Classic, back in Wisconsin on October for the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational with the men, and at the Tori Neubauer Invite in Wisconsin on October 18th.




The Gopher men have already had three events this year; the Gopher Invitational (Home - 9/7/14 & 9/8/14), the Windon Memorial Classic (Evanston, IL - 9/21/14 & 9/22/14), & the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate (Alburquerque, NM - 9/26/14 & 9/27/14). To be honest I just don't know what I need to know to interpret the results. If someone knows more than I (not hard on this subject), please take a look at the results here and let me know in the comments what this means. The Gophers have two more events this year before their winter break; the Alistar MacKenzie Invitational (Fairfax, CA - 10/14/14 & 10/15/14) and the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate (Dallas, TX - 10/27/14 & 10/28/14). They will return in February with Big Ten play.

The Gopher women have only had one event so far, the Second Annual Minnesota Invitational (The Minikahda Club, Minneapolis, MN - 9/15/14 & 9/16/14). They finished in 7th as a team but 3 players finished in the top 10 with Anna Laorr (SR) finishing in 2nd. See a YouTube recap here (for some reason it won't embed). Next the Gophers will be busy with a trip to Illinois the Windy City Collegiate Classic (10/6/14 & 10/7/14). They will then go Southwest for two trips, first to Austin (TX) for the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational (10/14/14 - 10/16/14) and then Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown. In February they will head West for the UCF Challenge to start the second half of their season.



Rowing (Women Only)



The Gophers start of their season with 4 events this month. They start off at home this weekend with the "Head of the Mississippi" event (10/05/14). The next three events are on the road with the "Head of the Rock" in Illinois (10/12/14), "Head of the Charles" in Boston (10/19/14), and then back to the Midwest for what I presume is a Big Ten match-upwith Indiana and Wisconsin at Wisconsin (10/25/14). No further events are scheduled at this time but there will be more events in the Spring. Check out their team hype video, "Stroke by Stroke". Here is the hype video for the "Head of the Mississippi" event.

Swim & Dive



The men & women both have an Arizona State on October 4th to start the season followed by 3 home events this month. The home events are vs. Wisconsin (10/17/14), vs. North Dakota (10/24/14), and vs. Iowa (10/31/14). There is also an Alumni meet on 10/10/14 at 6:00 pm.






Both the men & the women have already had events this year.



The men had the Penn State Invitational last month (9/26/14 - 9/28/14). They had mix results finishing 12-8 in singles but only 1-5 in doubles. However the freshmen did well with a 7-1 record in singles. The men are currently playing in the ITA Men's All-American Championships in Tulsa (OK) which run from September 29th until October 5th. They will then play in the USTA/ITA Regional Championships (10/9/14 - 10/12/14) before the Big Ten Indoor Championships (10/31/14 - 11/2/14) which mark the approximate halfway point of their season.



The Gopher Women have had two events so far, the Gopher Invitational (9/19/14 - 9/21/14) and the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships (9/27/14). The Gophers had a strong opening winning with a singles mark of 24-11 and a doubles mark of 28-9 at the Gopher Invite. Tereza Brichacova (SR) won the singles and was part of the duo that won the doubles along with Mehvish Safdar (FR). Up next is the ITA Central Region Championships (10/16/14 - 10/20/14) and the Big Green Invitational (10/31/14 - 11/02/14).


Last year Minnesota was the Big Ten Champions!




The Gophers opened up their season with two victories, both on Saturday (9/27/14) at home. They defeated North Dakota State in both games, 7-5 & 11-5.


All of the following are home games at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

  • 10/3/14 - vs. St. Cloud State, 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm.
  • 10/17/14 - vs. Concordia-St. Paul, 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm.
  • 10/24/14 - vs. Minnesota-Duluth, 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm.



Women's Hockey



Make sure to check out Gopherguy05's preview piece on the Women's Hockey team.

The Gopher's have two games this weekend at Ridder Arena. The first game is on Friday (10/03/14) at 7:07 pm vs. Penn State. The next game is on Saturday (10/04/14) at 7:07 pm vs. Boston University. You can also check out St. Cloud State play these same teams (days reversed) at Ridder Arena at their 4:07 pm games.



That's all folks!