This year’s Gopher squad will look to get back to the National Semifinals this season with a target squarely on their backs; Minnesota starts the season ranked fourth and will be hosting the National Championship at the Target Center in December.
The Gophers return five starters from last year’s 28-6 squad who finished third in the Big Ten (15-5). While most of the key contributors are returners, this year’s team is young. There are five freshman and seven sophomores on the roster. Fortunately for the Gophers, they have the services of setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson for one more season as she’ll look to guide the team a National Championship. She is joined by fellow All-American returnees junior, outside hitter Alexis Hart and sophomore, opposite Stephanie Samedy.
Minnesota was one of seven Big Ten teams that made the preseason rankings. Defending National Champ Nebraska came in at No. 2 followed by #6 Penn State, #9 Wisconsin, #12 Illinois, #22 Michigan State, and #23 Purdue; Michigan received votes.
Stanford came in at No. 1 garnering two thirds of the first-place votes. They were followed by #2 Nebraska, #3 Texas, #4 Minnesota, and #5 Kentucky.
In non-conference play Minnesota will face three teams who made the preseason poll; Florida State who received votes, #18 Oregon, and #1 Stanford.
The Gophers will start their season with two matches at the Target Center. Minnesota will host Florida State, North Carolina, and Wisconsin for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Minnesota’s first match will be on Friday, August 24th against the Seminoles at 7:00; they’ll face the Tar Heels on Saturday the 25th at 7:00.
If you can’t make it to the Target Center or Maturi Pavillion this season you are guaranteed to see the Gophers four times on BTN:
Sept. 19 vs. Penn State, 8 p.m.
Sept. 26 vs. Wisconsin, 8 p.m.
Oct. 26 at Michigan State, 5 p.m.
Oct. 31 at Wisconsin, 8 p.m.
Any of the Gophers last six matches could also get picked up by BTN. Otherwise all other matches will be available through streaming primarily on BTN+.