The Gopher Volleyball team is in a spot they have not been in since 2004. Numero uno. The Gophers took the #1 ranking in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll that came out on Monday.
The Gophers were previously ranked #2 coming into the weekend. Minnesota completed a road sweep of Indiana and then #14 Purdue both by 3-0 scores while previous #1 Nebraska lost to then #19 Ohio State. The Gophers are now tied for first place in the Big Ten with a 4-0 record, and have only lost one match all season at then #6 Stanford.
The road ahead will not be easy for Minnesota as an insane nine Big Ten teams are ranked in the AVCA Top 25 this week, including the top three with Wisconsin at #2 and Nebraska at #3.
The Gophers also are highly ranked in the first NCAA RPI rankings that came out on Monday. Minnesota is #2 trailing only the Badgers. The RPI rankings are a major criteria to determining entry and seeding for the NCAA Tournament. One reason for the high RPI is the Gophers insane strength of schedule. Minnesota has or will face eight teams this season currently in the Top 25 in RPI including six of the top ten besides the Gophers.
The Gophers begin their toughest stretch of the season this week with a road match at # 15 Penn State. The Gophers will play five of their next six matches on the road, including at #2 Wisconsin on October 12, and at #3 Nebraska on October 26th.
Additionally, the Gophers continue to rack up the weekly Big Ten Awards. Sophomore setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson was named the Big Ten Setter of the Week. She averaged 12.3 assists per set on the week, totaling 74 total assists and led the Golden Gophers to a .428 team hitting percentage on the week, including a .457 clip versus the Boilermakers. It is her fourth Setter of the Week this season, and her sixth of her career.
Additionally, Gopher freshman outside hitter Alexis Hart was named the Freshman of the Week. She tallied 17 kills on the week, hitting at a clip of .389. Its her third Freshman of the Week Award this season.