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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
22. Ohio State
Receiving votes- Purdue, Illinois
- San Diego
Big Ten Teams in top 40:
12. Michigan State
24. Penn State
25. Ohio State