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Minnesota Volleyball: NCAA Regional Preview

Trip to Final Four is on the line this weekend. Gophers looking win their third consecutive regional; they’ll have to get past some coastal powerhouses to do it.

Minnesota (28-5) played their last home matches of the season last weekend dispatching North Dakota and Northern Iowa as they moved on to the regionals in this year’s tournament. The No. 7 Gophers are in Florida this weekend to take on No. 10 USC (24-9) in the regional semi-final. The host No. 2 Gators (27-1) will take on No. 15 UCLA (21-10); the Florida regional is the only regional where all seeded teams made it past the second round.

Minnesota will take on the Trojans at 5:00 CT on ESPN3, after the Florida-UCLa match.

Match Preview

Minnesota looked good last weekend. The Gophers dropped a set to a tough, scrappy UNI team but was able to make adjustments defensively to roll in the third and fourth set. Libero, Dalianliz Rosado and company were great getting touches on balls and running them down. Rosado also puts up a great second ball when the team is out of system. Brittany McLean has been incredible stepping into the L2 position late in the season. McLean really rounds out Minnesota’s offense and is reliable in serve receive. Alexis Hart also has been phenomenal, especially on out of system balls, getting kills over and over.

Key Players

class, height, position, # name , stats, (statistical rank nationally)
Positions: MB- middle blocker, OH- outside hitter, RS- right side 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

Fr. 6’2 RS 10 Stephanie Samedy!F- 4.04 K/S (41), .304, 2.83 D/S, 0.72 B/S

Jr. 5’11 S 11 Samantha Seliger-Swenson!- 12.22 A/S (2), 2.69 D/S, 0.29 SA/S

Sr. 6’3 MB 13 Molly Lohman- .385 (25), 1.33 B/S (29), 0.31 SA/S

So 6’1 OH 14 Brittany McLean- 2.07 K/S, .239

Sr. 5’9 L 17 Dalianliz Rosado- 4.41 D/S

So. 6’0 OH 19 Alexis Hart!- 3.77 K/S, .279

Rs Fr. 6’5 MB 21 Regan Pittman- 2.28 K/S, .343, 0.95 B/S

Minnesota Team Stats

Comparison Kills/Set Hitting % Assists/Set Aces/Set Digs/Set Blocks/Set
Comparison Kills/Set Hitting % Assists/Set Aces/Set Digs/Set Blocks/Set
Minnesota 14.70 (8) .287 (12) 13.77 (6) 1.27 16.30 2.44 (45)
Opponents 13.28 .198 12.53 0.85 14.75 2.04

! All-Big Ten

F All-Freshman


The Trojans finished third in the Pac-12 behind Stanford and Washington finished with a 14-6 record. Sophomore Khalia Lanier is what makes USC go. She plays all six rotations attacking from the back row. Brittany Abercrombie complements her nicely on the right pin but USC lacks any offense from their middle blockers. What allows Lanier and Abercrombie to have so much success is USC’s stellar serve receive. Otherwise the Trojans do not defend well. Considering the speed Minnesota runs their offense the Gophers should not have too big of a problem getting past the Trojans.

Key Players

Jr. 5’10 OH 1 Alyse Ford- 2.31 K/S, .232

Sr. 6’0 RS 3 Niki Withers#- 2.57 K/S. .245

Jr. 5’10 L 4 Victoria Garrick- 3.82 D/S

Sr. 6’4 MB 5 Jordan Dunn- .374. 1.02 B/S

Sr. 6’2 RS 6 Brittany Abercrombie*- 3.13 K/S, .285

So. 5’11 S 9 Cindy Marina- 5.23 A/S, 0.25 SA/S

Sr. 5’5 S 14 Reni Meyer-Whalley- 6.21 A/S, 2.12 D/S

So. 6’2 OH 16 Khalia Lanier*- 4.19 K/S (29), .241, 2.32 D/S, 0.35 SA/S

USC Team Stats

Comparison Kills/Set Hitting % Assists/Set Aces/Set Digs/Set Blocks/Set
Comparison Kills/Set Hitting % Assists/Set Aces/Set Digs/Set Blocks/Set
USC 14.12 (25) .251 (40) 13.23 (21) 1.17 14.04 2.03
Opponents 12.56 .206 11.85 0.68 13.23 2.04

* All-Pac-12

# All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention