Thanks to a trio of 3-0 sweeps for the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Diet Coke Classic and losses by Stanford and Texas this weekend, the Gophers are the #1 ranked team in the nation this week!
#Gophers take the top spot in the latest @AVCAVolleyball poll! https://t.co/qwxU662jdl pic.twitter.com/ws5Amueghm— Minnesota Volleyball (@GopherVBall) September 3, 2018
The Gophers were #3 in the country coming into the weekend where they hosted their annual Diet Coke Classic tournament. The Gophers had no trouble with any of their opponents and won all three matches in clean 3-0 sweeps.
Friday night the Gophers beat North Dakota State in their home opener at the Pav by 25-11, 25-12. and 25-19 scores. Stephanie Samedy led the Gophers with 11 kills and Jasmine Martin added ten. Regan Pittman led tthe team with a .538 hitting percentage. Junior Lauren Litzau and sophomore Alice Ziemann both made their collegiate debuts for the Gophers in the rout.
Minnesota next took on Georgia Southern at 10 AM Saturday morning. Once again it was a laughter for the Gophers as they would win 25-13, 25-13, and 25-10. Iowa transfer Claire Sheehan led the team with eight kills while Martin and freshman Adanna Rollins each had seven.
In the nightcap the Gophers took on the Arkansas Razorbacks, Once again it was all Gophers winning by scores of 25-15, 25-19, and 25-18. Pittman had a team high 12 kills and hit .550. She was named the tournament MVP for her performances. Samedy and Martin each had nine kills for Minnesota. Joining Pittman on the all-tournament team for Minnesota was setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson and freshman Rollins.
The Gophers moved up in the national rankings thanks to losses by prior #1 Stanford and #2 Texas. The Cardinal dropped a game to previously #9 and now #3 BYU, and Texas lost to previously #8 and now #2 Wisconsin.
Minnesota’s schedule will get significantly tougher this weekend as they travel to the west coast for the Big Ten/Pac 12 Challenge. Friday night the Gophers will play the #18 Oregon Ducks, and Sunday Afternoon the Gophers will play at #4 Stanford. It will be the first real tough task to see how the Gophers stack up with the rest of the top ranked national teams prior to the start of the Big Ten season. We should have a full preview of the weekend’s matches later this week here at TDG.