It’s nearly February and the winter sports seasons are in full swing as they come down the home stretches of their regular seasons. The Minnesota Golden Gophers spring sports are beginning to awaken as well, meaning this is a very very busy time in the Minnesota athletic department. We will try and keep you up to date with this week’s version of the Non-Revenue Review!
Gopher Women’s Hockey:
The Gophers continued their good play against the rest of the top of the WCHA last weekend when they went into third place Ohio State and whupped up on the then #7 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. The Gophers got the sweep winning 7-2 on Friday and 7-1 on Saturday.
Friday it was all about pairs as Emily Oden, Grace Zumwinkle and Alex Woken all scored two goals in the win. The seventh Gopher goal was tallied by Senior Nicole Schammel in what was her 100th career point as a Gopher. Alex Gulstene made 19 saves on 21 shots to get the win.
Saturday Minnesota erupted for six of their seven goals in the second period. Crystalyn Hengler scored her first career goal to open the scoring for Minnesota before Taylor Heise scored back to back goals 37 second apart to make it 3-0 Minnesota. Taylor Wente and Amy Potomak would both score their first goals on the weekend and Woken and Zumwinkle would each pot their third goals to complete the scoring for Minnesota. Sydney Scobee made 20 saves on 21 shots to pick up the win.
The Gophers still hold a four point edge on second place Wisconsin with six conference games remaining. The Badgers have two games in hand however. Minnesota most likely has their toughest remaining series of the season this weekend when UMD comes to Rider Arena. But the Gophers are sitting pretty both in the WCHA and nationally. Minnesota currently is ranked #2 in the pairwise and if the season ended today would host a home NCAA Quarterfinal most likely against Boston College or Princeton.
Gopher Women’s Basketball:
Things aren’t quite as rosy for the Gopher women’s basketball team. They fell to Ohio State Monday night at the barn 65-55 to drop to 13-7 overall but just 2-7 in the Big Ten. Both wins have come against Wisconsin.
Monday night the Gophers and Buckeyes were deadlocked until the fourth quarter where things completely fell apart for Minnesota. Ohio State went on a 14-0 run and the Gophers did not score for nearly seven minutes of the ten minute quarter. Destiny Pitts who led the Gophers with 19 points has 16 entering the fourth and did not TAKE a single shot until there were just 30 seconds left in the game and it was all but decided. Kenisha Bell recorded four of her seven turnovers in the fourth quarter as well. As a team the Gophers shot just 30% from the field. Taiye Bello recorded another double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. The Gophers were killed in the paint where Ohio State outscored them 34-10.
In more positive news, the Gophers conquering of the City of Madison continued last Friday night when the #7 Gopher wrestling team went into Madison and came away with a 27-13 win over the #16 ranked Badgers. Minnesota got victories from Steve Polakowski at 125 pounds, #8 Ethan Lizak at 133, Tommy Thorn at 149, #7 Steve Bliese at 157, #11 Devin Skatzka at 174, Dylan Anderson at 197, and #1 Gable Steveson at Heavyweight.
Minnesota heads home to the Pav and will host #19 Purdue on Sunday.
Gopher Track and Field:
The Gophers hosted the Jack Johnson Invitational and the U of M Fieldhouse the past weekend. The Gophers would win six events and five additional events were won by Gopher athletes competing unattached.
Minnesota took home first place in the men’s shot put with Jonathan Tharaldson throwing the third furthest throw in Gopher history with 19.5 meters. Kieran McKeag won the weight throw with a personal best of 20.68 meters. James Travis would win the triple jump, Mason Roomes the long jump, and Eric Walker the 60 meter hurdles. On the women’s side Kiley Saben would take home the shot put with a throw of 16.6 meters.
Gopher athletes competing unattached who took home events included hannah-Hood Blaxil in the high jump, Kaitlyn Long in the weight throw, Kayla Voight in the 400 meters, Ayesha Champagnie in the pentathlon and Teddy Freid in the heptathlon.
The Gophers are in action this weekend in Ann Arbor at the Power Five Invitational hosted by Michigan.
Gopher Women’s Gymnastics:
The Gopher women’s gymnastics team set several records in their win at Penn State 196.925-196.775. The Gophers are now 6-2 on the season and 2-0 in the Big Ten.
The Gophers recorded the fourth highest team score in history on the balance beam with a composite 49.375. Sophomore Lexi Ramler continued her amazing career by setting a new career high in the all-around with a score of 39.625 which now ranks as the fifth best score in Gopher history. Ramler won the vault with a 9.90 and the beam with a 9.95. Minnesota’s Paige Williams won the floor exercise with a score of 9.95, and Ivy Lu would win the uneven bars with a 9.95.
The Gophers will look to remain undefeated in the Big Ten when they host Michigan State at 4PM on Saturday at the Pav,
Gophers Men’s Gymnastics:
The #7 Gophers posted their best meet score of the year but could not hold off #5 Michigan and would lose the dual meet 413.150 to 408.300. Minnesota recorded season highs on floor, rings, vault and parallel bars and had a lead over Michigan heading into the last rotation, but the Wolverines scored the second-highest mark in the NCAA this season to overcome the Gophers.
Sophomore Shane Wiskus took second place in the all-around with a score of 82.900.
The Gophers will be at Iowa on Saturday.
Gophers Men’s Tennis:
The Gophers headed to California for the ITA Kickoff event to jumpstart their spring season. The would fall to Oregon 4-1 but rebound to defeat Central Florida 4-3.
Against the Ducks the Gophers got one doubles match win when Josip Krstanovic and Justyn Levin upset the #38 ranked doubles [pair in the country for Oregon. The Gophers would drop the other two doubles matches to lose the point however. Their lone singles win came from Marino Alpeza 7-5, 6-2.
In Sunday’s consolation match against UCF, the Gophers came from behind to grab a win. Minnesota once again dropped the doubles point winning just one of the three matches to fall behind 1-0. But the Gophers would rebound in the singles matches with three wins over ranked players for the Knights. Krstanovic upset #31 Gabriel Descamps at the #1 singles spot, winning 6-3, 6-4. to give the Gophers their first point. Stefan Milicevic took down #57 Juan Pablo Grassi Muzzuchi in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Jackson Allen tied up the dual at 3 with a win over # 107 Trey Hilderbrand 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Minnesota would win the last match by Vlad Lobak 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 to get the victory.
Gopher Women’s Tennis:
The Gopher women’s tennis team began its spring season this past weekend in Los Angeles at their version of the ITA Kickoff. The Gophers lost to #8 UCLA 4-0 on Saturday before rebounding and upsetting #41 Florida International 4-1 on Sunday.
Minnesota never really had a chance against the Bruins. They dropped all of their matches and were just over powered by the highly ranked Bruins. On Sunday the Gophers got off to a fast start taking the doubles point. Cammy Frei and Caitlyn Merzbacher got a 6-2 win over FIU’s Sandra Bozinovic and Paulina Bakaite. Then Bita Mancera and River Hart followed with a 6-3 victory over Maria Turrillo and Maryna Veksler.
In the singles match ups Minnesota jumped to a quick 3-0 lead in the match with wins by Hart (6-3, 6-0) and Mancera (6-3, 6-3). Minnesota clinched the match when after going down 2-5 in the second set, Tiffany Huber battled back against Maryna Veksler to win in straight sets 6-4, 7-5.
The Gophers are gearing up for their spring seasons and will have new facilities to do so. The John W Mooty Golf Facility opened this spring and both the men and women’s teams have been using it to prepare for their spring events.
The women get the spring kicked off this weekend when they will face Michigan in Naples Florida on Saturday, while the men begin the spring next weekend at the Big Ten Match Play Tournament in Palm Coast, Florida.
The Gophers returned from a spring training practice trip to Florida and continue to get ready for the 2019 season. The Gophers are ranked #21 in the initial USA Today Coaches Poll.
The #Gophers enter the year at No. 21 in the Coaches Poll and will play 10 games against teams in the preseason Coaches Poll including six against teams in the preseason top-10. #SkiUMah https://t.co/KE3UogzUgi— Minnesota Softball (@GopherSoftball) January 29, 2019
It will not be an easy non-conference for Minnesota as they will play ten games against teams in the initial poll and six against teams in the top ten including two neutral site games against #1 Florida State, and #8 Tennessee and true road games at #9 Alabama (two games), at #7 Arizona and at #5 Florida.
They kick off their season next weekend in Orlando with games against North Florida, Central Florida, Mississippi and George Mason.
The Gopher baseball team has begun practice for the 2019 season. They return sophomores Max Meyer and Patrick Frederickson both who have been named to multiple preseason All-American teams this spring. The Gophers are being ranked in the high 20’s in various preseason polls with them coming in at #24 in Baseball America’s poll and #26 in Perfect Game’s rankings. The official preseason coaches poll will come out next week.
The Gophers will begin their season February 15th in Surprise, Arizona when they take on two teams they faced in the NCAA Tournament a season ago in Gonzaga and Oregon State along with a game against New Mexico.