While it may have been against the bottom two teams of the Big Ten, Minnesota has continued their great season so far last weekend as they swept the Maryland Terrapins and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on the road. Despite the wins, Minnesota stays at #11 in the Coaches poll.
Week in Review
Game 1: #11 Minnesota @ Maryland - Friday, 10/09/2015 - 6:00 pm Central - BTN Plus
To be honest, the Gophers looked sloppy in the first set, not putting away the Terrapins until the last possible moment; at one point Maryland led 23-22. This carried over to the begging of the second set in which Maryland started out with a 3-1 lead before Minnesota found their rhythm, going up 7-1. Maryland fought back getting within two for a score of 14-12 Minnesota, but at that point Minnesota just dominated the set. In the third set Maryland again started off strong going up 9-5 before Minnesota decided to finish it. Maryland stragy in the game was to server very hard and tyring to hit the back line and corneres, a high risk/reward stratagy. Minnesota was strong in blocks and digs. Star player Daly Santana decided to tip or push the ball at the net a great deal during the game to go along with her hard hits; something that was often hard for Maryland to deal with as they were expecting the kill shot.
Game 2: #11 Minnesota @ Rutgers - Sunday, 10/11/2015 - 2:00 pm Central
This game was not televised so I am not able to give you an account of the game. Looking at the box score and official Gophersports.com recap it looks like Minnesota dominated the game. Unlike the Maryland game, Minnesota took the early lead in the first two sets. However, in the third set the Scarlet Knights started out leading 6-4 before Minnesota scored 4 straight to take the lead. Minnesota wouldn't trail again but Rutgers was able to tie it up at the 14, 15, and 16th point.
Early in the week Rutgers played host to Wisconsin who like the Gophers defeated Rutgers in straight sets.
The Big news here is that the defending national champions, the Penn State University Nittany Lions, lost another Big Ten game, this time to the Northwestern Wildcats, 3-2. PSU is the only Big Ten loss for the Gophers this year and they play again, this time at home at the Sports Pavilion, on November 14th. Minnesota defeated Northwestern in the Gopher's Big Ten home opener earlier this year 3-0 and will travel to Evanston on November 11th. The Purdue Boilermakers remain perfect in Big Ten play but they have yet to get into the meat of thier schedule as they travel to Ohio State and Penn State this weekend. Prdue won't play Minnesota until November 1st when the travel to Minneapolis and then again when the host the Gophers on November 21st.
Up Next - #HATEWEEK
Minnesota travels to Madison tomorrow (Wednesday) to take on the Wisconsin Badgers. Three days later they return the favor as they will host Wisconsin this Saturday. This will be a great double header for all of those sports fans who make it out for the Minnesota/Nebraska football match earlier in the night.
- Game 1: #11 Minnesota @ Wisconsin - Wednesday, 10/14/2015 - 7:00 pm Central - BTN Plus
- Game 2: #11 Minnesota vs. Wisconsin - Wednesday, 10/17/2015 - 8:00 pm Central - BTN Plus
So far this year Wisconsin is one game back from the Gophers in the Big Ten, loosing at Penn State and at Ohio State.
Wisconsin is always a tough match for the Gophers, the series usally being competative. Last year Wisconsin dominated defeating the Gophers in straight sets twice, the year before (2013-2014) each team won their home match 3-1, while in both of the two seasons before that the Gophers won their matches in straight sets.
Below is a cool video by the Badgers called the "Wisconsin Volleyball Experience." It shows why Maddison is a tough place to play, they have made 18 NCAA tournament appearances and have one of the highest attendance numbers in the country (ranked in the top 5 for the past 14 years).
Last year the Badgers won the Big Ten Championship (over National champion Penn State) with at 31-3 record and advanced to the regional final in the NCAA tournament; finishing the season ranked #4.
Kelli Bates and Lauryn Gillis lead the Badgers in kills with 177 and 171 respectively. Taylor Morey leads the team in diggs with an amazing 247 followed by Kelli Bates at 152 and Lauren Carlini at 145. Leading the Badgers in blocks is Tionna Williams with 69 (5 bs, 64 ba) and Haleigh Nelson with 68 (6 bs and 62 ba). Lauren Carlini is the Badgers main setter with 649 sets (next highest is 52 by Taylor Morey).
For comparisons sake below are the Minnesota team leaders; I say Minnesota looks pretty good.
- Paige Tapp - 85 (12 bs, 73 ba)
- Molly Lohman (55 (7 bs, 48 ba)
- Hannah Tapp - 53 (6 bs, 47 ba)
- Samantha Seliger-Swenson - 632
- Dalianliz Rosado - 38
- Katie Schau - 36
These should be tough matches and will boost whoever wins them in the standings and the rankings. Minnesota certainly has the ability to win this year and is the slightly more experienced team.
#GoGophers #DigDeep #PackThePav