After the win over then #1 Wisconsin, Minnesota looked ripe to retake the #1 spot, but stumbled against #14 Michigan State. Good news, Gophers have another shot at #1 this week. Friday night at 6:00 CT Minnesota will take on Iowa (15-5, 5-3) on BTN. Sunday afternoon at 1:00 CT the Gophers face #1 Nebraska (16-1, 7-1) on BTN.
class, position, # name , stats, (statistical rank nationally, in the conference)
Postions: M- middle blocker, OH- outside hitter, Opp- opposite hitter, DS- defensive specialist, L- libero, S- setter
Stats: K/S- kills/set, B/S- blocks/set, D/S- digs/set. .000- hitting percentage, A/S- assists/set SA/S- service aces/set
Sr. M 4 Paige Tapp- .264, 1.22 B/S (7)
Sr. M 7 Hannah Tapp- 3.17 K/S (12), .370 (44, 7), 1.09 B/S (14)
Sr. OH 8 Sarah Wilhite- 4.1 K/S (38, 2), .302, 2.59 D/S, 0.3 SA/S (12)
So. S 11 Samantha Seliger-Swenson- 11.69 A/S (6, 1), 2.23 D/S, .64 B/S, 0.26 SA/S
Jr. M 13 Molly Lohman- .356 (8), 1.34 B/S (28, 5)
Jr. L 17 Dalianliz Rosado- 3.8 D/S (6)
Fr. OH 19 Alexis Hart- 2.95 K/S, .273
The back row situation, still seems to be fluid as McCutcheon used both Sophie Beckley and Katie Schau against MSU. Both Molly Lohman and Paige Tapp have fared well in conference play, posting .476 and .294 hitting percentages respectively against conference foes.
Also of note, last week Paige and Hannah Tapp were named as two of 30 honorees for the Senior CLASS award; later the 30 candidates will be cut down to 10 finalists.
Iowa is much improved since last season, and a friendly Big Ten schedule has allowed them to rack up five conference wins; one win was over then #17 Purdue. Otherwise Iowa has struggled against ranked opponents, and has yet to face any of the three B1G teams who are in the top five. The Hawkeyes are very balanced and the team hits .280. Setter Loxley Keala does a good job mixing up the hitters and trails only Samantha Seliger-Swenson in assists per set among conference setters. One weakness for Iowa however is blocking which Minnesota should be able to exploit. The Hawkeyes average 1.98 blocks per set, while the Gophers have nearly a one block advantage, 2.87 blocks per set.
Sr. MB/OH 4 Ashley Mariani- .328, 0.75 B/S
Rs Fr. OH/Opp 5 Meghan Buzzerio- 2.45 K/S
So. Opp 8 Reghan Coyle- 2.06 K/S, .333, 0.83 B/S
Jr. L 9 Annika Olsen- 3.86 D/S (5)
Sr. S 10 Loxley Keala- 11.14 A/S (20, 2), 2.25 D/S
Sr. OH 18 Lauren Brobst- 3.07 K/S (14), .279
Jr. MB 29 Jess Janota- 2.32 K/S, .334 (15), 0.88 B/S
Tough weekend for the #1 Huskers as they host #3 Minnesota and #4 Wisconsin, albeit it should be easier than taking on Minnesota and Wisconsin on the road. This weekend could very well be a preview of things to come, as we might see these three teams squaring off in Columbus this December at the Final Four. Right now the Badgers and Huskers are tied for second in the conference with only one conference loss. The Gophers are next in line with two losses. The team who stands to benefit the most from this might be Penn State. As Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Minnesota duke it out this weekend, Penn State can just watch as perhaps their lead on the rest of the conference grows. Regardless of whether this is the case for Penn State, they won’t be safe for long as they run the gauntlet of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Nebraska all in a row starting next weekend.
So. OH 2 Mikaela Foecke- 2.65 K/S, .295
Jr. S 3 Kelly Hunter- 10.93 A/S (24, 4), 2.18 D/S, 0.93 B/S, 0.32 SA/S (10)
Sr. L 4 Justine Wong-Orantes- 3.75 D/S (8)
Sr. MB 5 Amber Rolfzen- .311, 1.47 B/S (14, 3)
Sr. OH 6 Kadie Rolfzen- 3.49 K/S (9), .342 (12), 2.49 D/S, 0.88 B/S, 0.26 SA/S
Sr. OH 9 Andie Malloy- 2.54 K/S
Jr. MB 13 Briana Holman- 2.25 K/S, .325 (9), 1.12 B/S (12)
Jr. OH 17 Annika Albrecht- 0.28 SA/S (15)
As much talent as it takes to win a National Championship, the Huskers might have more this season than last. The Huskers are skilled at every position. Consequently they are top five in the conference in every major team statistic except two. They lead the conference with 3.0 blocks per set in league matches; due in large part to Amber Rolfzen who has averaged 1.71 stuffs each set in conference play. Her twin Kadie is versatile playing all six rotations to lead the Huskers.
The Gophers will have to bring their best stuff if they’re going to get out of Lincoln with a win. Minnesota can neutralize Nebraska’s block with their speed and balance. Seliger-Swenson does a tremendous job anticipating the block and putting up a good ball for the hitters. This should be an entertaining match; hopefully Minnesota can deal Nebraska their second home loss of the season.
- North Carolina
Big Ten teams in the top 40
9. Michigan State
19. Penn State
29. Ohio State
#3 Minnesota’s win over #1 Wisconsin guaranteed a new #1 this week. Unfortunately the Gophers lost their claim to it when they lost to #14 Michigan State. So instead Nebraska moved into #1 as they avenged their loss to Ohio State. Texas, this week, broke up the Big Ten’s stranglehold on the top three.
- San Diego
Big Ten Teams
9. Penn State
11. Michigan State
19. Ohio State