We are back for week three of our Minnesota Golden Gophers non-rev review. The Gopher volleyball team kicked off their season with a big sweep, and we have more debuting teams this weekend as the men’s gymnastics and men’s tennis teams hit the mat/court for the first time this season.
The #7 Gopher volleyball team opened their season with a home sweep over Michigan State last weekend. The Gophers opened with a 3-0 on on Saturday winning 25-18, 26-24, and 25-16. Adana Rollins led Minnesota with 15 kills, while true freshman Taylor Landfair making her first collegiate performance added ten kills. Regan Pittman and Katie Myers each had four blocks and true freshman setter Melani Shaffmaster had 29 assists and four kills of her own.
On Sunday the Gophers earned another 3-0 sweep winning 26-24, 25-22, and 25-12. Stephanie Samedy led Minnesota with 14 kills in the match with Rollins adding nine. Shaffmaster had 21 assists and added 11 sigs to earn her first collegiate double-double. With her play on the weekend she was name the Big Ten Freshman of the Week award winner on Tuesday. She is the first Gopher to win the award since Rollins in 2018.
The Gophers hit the road for the first time this weekend for a pair of matches against Katie Myers’s former squad the Maryland Terrapins. Minnesota is 13-0 all-time against the Terrapins. Friday night’s match begins at 7:30 and will air live on BTN. Saturday’s match will take place at 5:00 PM and will stream on BTN+ ($$).
The Gopher women remained hot winning their second game in a row at Penn State 85-76 on Monday. Sara Scalia led the Gophers with 21 points, which is even more impressive considering she is playing with a SEPERATED SHOOTING SHOULDER. Gadiva Hubbard added 18 and Jasmine Powell added 16 for the Gophers in the win. Minnesota turned the tables as of late and came back from a seven point deficit to start the fourth quarter outscoring the Nittany Lions 32-16 in the final ten minutes to get the win.
Indoor Track and Field:
The Gopher indoor track and field team competed in the Larry Wieczorek Invitational hosted by Iowa last weekend. The Gophers competed against the Hawkeyes, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Illinois in the meet. The Minnesota women won the team title with 129.50 points ahead of runner-up Nebraska with 91 points while the Gopher men finished fourth with 66 points. brought home eight individual event titles. The Gopher women won six individual event titles while the men brought home two.
Abigail Schaffe and Amira Young each won two events for the Gophers. Schaffe won both the 400 and 600 meter runs while Young won the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes. Schaffe actually added a third title when she anchored the Gophers 4x400 meter relay team that also featured Jayla Campbell, Janielle Josephs and Val Larson to a first place finish. Tess Keysers won the women’s weight throw to round out the women’s titles.
On the Men’s side they also brought home the weight throw crown. Kaleb Siekmeyer added his second title on the season, and Minnesota finished 1-2 in the pole vault with a first place finish from Ekhardt Van der Watt and a second place finish from Mike Herauf.
On Monday the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field National Track & Field Rating Index was released for the first time this season with the Gopher women ranked #11 in the country leading all Big Ten squads. The Gopher men are ranked #23 in the nation and fourth in the Big Ten. Both squads have two members ranked in the individual top ten in their events with the men’s Jordan MacIntosh ranked #3 in the 5,000 meters and Siekmeier #9 in the weight throw. For the women Bethany Hasz is ranked both #1 in the 5,000 meters and #10 in the 3,000 meters while Keyzers is ranked #5 in the weight throw.
The Gophers teams will be split across two meets this weekend. The Gophers distance runners will head to the Big Ten Cross Country Championships at Blue River Memorial Park in Shelbyville, Indiana on Saturday. The women’s 6K race is scheduled to start at 11:30, and the men’s 8K race is set for 1:00. Both will stream live on BTN+.
Minnesota will send five athletes to the Illini Big Ten Multi-Meet this weekend to compete in the hepthalon on the men’s side and the pentathalon on the women’s side. Wyatt Lubarski and Alexander Jung will compete for the men while Allison Gerads, Hannah Arason and Ashley Ramacher will compete for the women.
It was not a great home debut for the #12 Gopher wrestling team as they got smoked by #1 Iowa 35-4. The only Gopher to win was #1 Gable Steveson at heavyweight where he had no trouble at all with Iowa’s #3 ranked Tony Cassioppi taking home a 14-6 major decision. Minnesota was really only close in one other match where the Gophers #6 Brayton Lee lost in overtime to Iowa’s #7 Kaleb Young at 157 pounds.
The Gophers are back on the road this weekend when they head to Rutgers for a tri-meet on Sunday. Minnesota will wrestle #18 Purdue at 9AM Sunday morning before facing the host #17 Rutgers at 1PM. Both matches will stream on BTN+.
Swimming and Diving:
The Gophers swimming and diving teams competed in a tri-duel against both Wisconsin and Purdue in Madison last weekend. The Gopher women split the duel defeating Purdue 173-127 but losing to the Badgers 163-133. The men were swept by both teams losing to Purdue 176-124 and Wisconsin 165-135.
The Gopher women were led by sophomore Emma Lezer. She won a pair of individual events in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes that also both qualified at NCAA B times. She also helped the Gophers win the 200 medley relay along with Emily Cook, Emma Linscott and Olivia Bloomer in a time of 1:39:36 setting a new pool record.
freshman Indy Jongman also had a good day for Minnesota winning the 50 freestyle, coming in second in the 100 freestyle and helping the Gophers win the 400 free relay along with Jordan McGinty, Pyper Doo and Oliva Bloomer.
Minnesota also was back on top in the diving well where back to back NCAA Champion Sarah Bacon picked right back up where she left off winning both the one and three meter springboard events for the Gophers.
On the men’s side junior captain Max McHugh continued to lead the Gophers. He easily won both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events recording a time of 50-63 in the 100 that is the fastest i the nation thus far and is 0.04 seconds faster than his nation leading time from a season ago. Minnesota also got a pair of wins from a fair of freshmen. Sawyer Grimes won his first collegiate event in the 1,000 freestyle while Kasier Neverman won the 200 butterfly and qualified with an NCAA B cut time.
The swim teams have a weekend off before hosting their only home meet of the season next weekend.
The #4 Gopher gymnastics team couldn’t find the same magic they had in their first meet against Iowa and fell to #3 Michigan in Ann Arbor 195.850 - 195.000. A week after winning the all-around Gopher senior Ona Loper finished second with a 39.500 behind Michigan’s Natalie Wojcik with a 39.600. Loper won the floor exercise for the second week in a row with a 9.925 and then Loper and Lexi Ramler shared the vault individual event tiles with matching 9.9’s.
The Gophers are back home at the Pav on Saturday when they will take on Penn State at Noon. The meet will stream live on BTN+.
The Gopher men’s gymnastics team will open their final campaign on Saturday night when they host Iowa at the Pav. The meet will begin at 6 PM and will stream on BTN+.
The Gophers will be missing three-time Big Ten gymnast of the year Shane Wiskus as he has chosen to spend at least the early part of the Big Ten season in Colorado Springs training at the US Olympic Training Center in hopes of earning an 2021 Olympic spot....if they happen.
The Gopher men’s tennis team kicks off their final season this weekend in Madison at the Badger Invitational. The event will take place over four days from Thursday through Sunday and will feature Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Indiana. Minnesota’s tentative schedule is as follows:
Thursday, Jan. 28th 6:00pm - Doubles vs. Indiana
Friday, Jan. 29th 1:00pm - Doubles vs. Nebraska 1:45pm - Singles vs. Indiana
Saturday, Jan 30th1:00pm - Doubles vs. Wisconsin 1:45pm - Singles vs. Nebraska
Sunday, Jan. 31st 12:00pm - Singles vs. Wisconsin
Singles will be played best two out of three sets, while doubles will play six-game sets. Wisconsin will livestream action from six of the eight courts in use. The live stream is HERE.