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Minnesota Volleyball: IU and Maryland Preview

Light week for the Gophers as they take on Indiana and Maryland who are 11th and 12th, respectively, in the conference

We’re past the halfway point in the conference season and Minnesota (17-4, 9-3) is still in contention for a repeat Big Ten title. The Gophers have an easy week this week, which should help them gear up to finish strong. Minnesota will have to win out and get a little help from some other teams if they’re going to defend their title.

Gophers will end their home stand with a match tonight, Wednesday, against IU at 7:00 CT. Sunday afternoon at 3:00 CT Minnesota will play Maryland.

Key Players

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- 1.2 B/S (8)

Sr. M 7 Hannah Tapp- 2.93 K/S (14), .354 (8), 1.07 B/S (14)

Sr. OH 8 Sarah Wilhite- 4.14 K/S (39, 2), .296, 2.47 D/S, 0.28 SA/S (15)

So. S 11 Samantha Seliger-Swenson- 11.74 A/S (3, 1), 2.2 D/S, .61 B/S, 0.31 SA/S (9)

Jr. M 13 Molly Lohman- .393 (20, 2), 1.42 B/S (18, 3)

Jr. L 17 Dalianliz Rosado- 4.0 D/S (7)

Fr. OH 19 Alexis Hart- 2.97 K/S (13), .263

This week Molly Lohman was named the B1G Defensive Player of the week after tallying 11 blocks last week, seven against Penn State. This is her first conference honor. Besides outstanding blocking Lohman is a well oiled machine at the net. She hasn’t committed a hitting error the last two matches and only has 13 hitting errors in conference play, hitting .493. While she is not a high volume hitter this is still incredible. Lohman has one perfect hitting performance in conference play when she was 9-9 against IU in the first matchup. Samantha Seliger-Swenson runs a great offense, but it seems like they might be able to use Lohman a little more.

Today the AVCA announced the Under Armour High School All-Americans. Four future Gophers were honored. Outside hitter Stephanie Samedy of Clermont, FL was a first team honoree. Sydney Kleinman of Frisco, TX and Jasmyn Martin of Minnetonka, MN, both outside hitters, were named to the second team. Sara Nielsen, a setter from Lisle, IL, was an honorable mention selection.

Indiana Preview

IU is 15-10 this season and 4-8 in conference play. Last weekend they were able to pick up a big win over then #13 Michigan in four sets. Otherwise IU’s only wins have came over Rutgers and Northwestern. The Hoosiers are a decent serving team, fifth best conference play, but they don’t many other things well. They also use two setters interchangeably. Minnesota swept IU in the previous matchup this season.

Key Players

Fr. S 1 Victoria Brisack- 7.33 A/S, 0.28 SA/S

Sr. MB 5 Jazzmine McDonald- .353 (10), 0.87 B/S

Sr. L 6 Taylor Lebo- 3.47 D/S (10), 0.38 SA/S (2)

Sr. S 9 Megan Tallman- 9.8 A/S (11), 0.33 SA/S (7)

Sr. OH 11 Allison Hammond- 3.68 K/S (7), 0.27 SA/S (15)

Fr. MB 16 Deyshia Lofton- 1.00 B/S

Rs Fr. OH 17 Kendall Beerman- 2.85 K/S, .281

Maryland Preview

Despite being only 2-9 in conference play, 10-13 overall, Maryland has been competitive. Last week they got an upset win over then #19 Ohio State in five sets. They also have pushed Michigan and Illinois to five sets. They’ve played a fairly rigorous schedule, only facing one other team that is in the bottom four of the conference thus far. A strength for the Terrapins has been their blocking, 2.64 blocks per set, fifth best in the conference. The Gophers swept Maryland the first weekend of conference play.

Key Players

Jr. MB 2 Hailey Murray- .251, 0.89 B/S

Fr. S 7 Taylor Smith- 8.63 A/S (12)

So. L 8 Kelsey Wicinkski- 4.33 D/S (2), 0.27 SA/S

So. OH 12 Liz Twilley- 2.22 K/S

So. Opp 13 Angel Gaskin- 1.05 B/S

Fr. OH 14 Gia Milana- 3.96 K/S (6), 2.35 D/S

Sr. MB 18 Ashlyn McGregor- .311, 1.49 B/S

Big Ten Standings

AVCA Rankings

Top 5

  1. Nebraska
  2. Minnesota
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Kansas
  5. Texas

Kansas leapfrogged Texas after they beat the Longhorns in five sets. San Diego fell out of the top five after losing to BYU.

Big Ten teams:

11. Penn State

16. Michigan State

17. Michigan

22. Ohio State

Receiving votes- Purdue, Illinois

RPI Standings

Top 5

  1. Nebraska
  2. Wisconsin
  3. Texas
  4. Minnesota
  5. San Diego

Big Ten Teams in top 40:

11. Michigan

12. Michigan State

17. Purdue

24. Penn State

25. Ohio State