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Gopher Sports: Weekend Nugz

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A quick catchup/preview for your weekend

Brad Rempel—Gophersports.com

It’s Friday! Just a few more hours and the weekend is here. We are brining back our gol Golden Nugz post to keep you updated on what’s been happening this week and what to look forward to this weekend.

Softball:

The Gopher softball team opens NCAA Tournament play Friday night at 7 PM when they face Fresno State in the opening game of the Los Angeles Regional. The Gophers and Bulldogs are joined by #2 national seed UCLA and Long Beach State. The double elimination regional continues on Saturday with the winners bracket game beginning at 3:30 and the elimination game beginning at 6PM. A second elimination game will begin at 8:30 facing the loser of the winners game and the winner of the losers game. Friday night’s game will air live on ESPNU with the Saturday games airing on an ESPN network TBD.

There has been a bit of controversy surrounding the NCAA pairings and the Los Angeles regional. Minnesota despite being ranked #23 in the latest national poll would appear to be under seeded heading to the #2 national seed regional. They by far have the toughest trek to the Super Regionals of any Big Ten School. Former Gopher pitcher Sara Groenewegen and future Canadian Olympian was not pleased with the Gophers bracket.

Of Course most Gopher fans remember 2017 when the Gophers were the #1 team in the nation and the NCAA somehow decided that they were not not worthy of earning a top 16 NCAA seed and hosting a regional. So there is definitely some past history there. But at least one current Gopher player has an issue with UCLA being able to host a regional in the first place:

Based upon State of California rules, unless you are fully vaccinated you won’t be allowed to be a spectator at the LA regional this weekend. Now unless you are blind you know we here at TDG are very pro vaccine, but obviously some people for one reason or another may not have had the chance to get their full suite done yet. Who is the only non-California team in the LA regional? Yep, the Gophers. And it sounds like it will affect Minnesota’s fans directly.

So... yeah the Gophers will have a tough task on their hands this weekend to try and advance to the NCAA Super Regional next weekend.

Earnler this week the Big Ten awards were announced and the Gophers had a pair of First Team All-Big Ten selections in second baseman MaKenna Partain and outfielder Natalie Den Hartog. Partain has been an anchor for the Gophers at second and earlier this season became Minnesota’s all-time leader in runs scored. Partain has played every game this year for Minnesota and led the team with a .331 batting average, 33 runs scored and 43 hits. It is the senior’s third First Team All-Big Ten honor. DenHartog led the Big Ten with 13 home runs and is the Gopher leader with a .731 slugging percentage and .456 on-base percentage and second on the team in hitting at .319. It’s the second First Team All-Big Ten honor for the junior.

Minnesota also had four players named to the All-Big Ten second team in Amber Fiser, Emily Hansen, Katelyn Kemmetmueller, and Autumn Pease. Freshman catcher Sara Kinch was named to the All-freshman team.

Additionally Partain, Den Hartog, Fiser and Pease were all named to the NFCA Great Lakes Region Second Team.

Track and Field:

Earlier this week Minnesota got the list of the 40 entries that qualified for the NCAA West Prelims that will be held at Texas A&M next Wednesday through Saturday. The top 12 finishers in each event will advance to the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held Wednesday, June 9 through Saturday, June 12 in Eugene, Ore.

The Gophers have 21 entries on the women’s side and 19 on the men’s. Both the women’s and men’s 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay teams qualified. In addition to the relays, the Gophers women have 19 individuals competing in 14 different individual events while the men have 17 individual entries in 10 different events. The full list is below:

Women:

100m: Amira Young

200m: Amira Young

400m: Janielle Josephs

800m: Anastasia Korzenowski, Erin Reidy

5,000m: Bethany Hasz

400m Hurdles: Abigail Schaaffe, Val Larson

3,000m Steeplechase: Abby Kohut-Jackson, Carissa Dock

4x100m Relay: Tiera Robinson-Jones, Lexi Romero, Lauren Hansen, Amira Young

4x400m Relay: Jayla Campbell, Val Larson, Janielle Josephs, Abigail Schaaffe

Pole Vault: Lexy Berger

Long Jump: Allison Gerads

Triple Jump: Tiera Robinson-Jones

Shot Put: Tess Keyzers, Devia Brown

Discus: Shelby Frank, Erin Dunning

Hammer Throw: Tess Keyzers

Javelin: Hailey Poole

Men:

100m: Kion Benjamin

200m: Kion Benjamin

400m: Ben Psicihulis

1,500m: Owen Hoeft

400m Hurdles: Noah Burton, Collin Sieffert

3,000m Steeplechase: Alec Basten

4x100m Relay: Ben Psicihulis, Kion Benjamin, Finn Schirmer, Aarron Westmoreland

4x400m Relay: Noah Burton, Collin Sieffert, Elliott Davis, Ben Psicihulis

Pole Vault: Mike Herauf, Ekhardt Van der Watt

Shot Put: Kyle Atkinson, Eric Rousemiller

Discus: Phillipe Barnett, Kaleb Siekmeier

Hammer Throw: Kostas Zaltos, Phillipe Barnett, Carter Hughes, Kaleb Siekmeier

Soccer:

On Thursday it was announced that Gopher Soccer head coach Stefanie Golan had resigned. Golan resigned to become the new head coach at the University of Missouri. Golan is a St. Charles, Missouri native.

Golan had been the coach of the Gophers for nine seasons and compiled a record of 92-64-24 and led the Gophers to one Big Ten regular season title, two Big Ten tournament championships and four NCAA tournament berths.

A national search for her replacement is underway.

Volleyball:

A pair of trios of Gophers, one current and the other former are getting some US National Team experience this summer. Current Gophers CC McGraw, Stephanie Samedy and Melanie Shaffmaster are three of 29 players who were invited to to train as part of the 2021 USA Volleyball Women’s Collegiate National Team. These athletes will train June 13-18 in Anaheim, Calif. The key takeaway from that is Samedy appears to still be listed as a Gopher player and that hopefully means she will return for a fifth season of eligibility in the fall for Minnesota.

An additional trio of Gopher alums were named to the US National Team that will play in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) from May 25-June 24 in Rimini, Italy. Tori Dixon, Hannah Tapp and Sarah (Wilhite) Parsons will all be members of the US team that is the defending two-time champions of the league that began in 2018. The trio are a part of the 23 player pool on the US National Team that will be cut down to 12 and make the US Olympic Team that will compete in Tokyo beginning in July.

Baseball:

The Gopher baseball team closes out the home portion of it’s schedule this weekend by hosting Purdue in a four game series. Minnesota lost the opener Thursday night 9-3 to fall to 4-27 on the season. The Gophers and Boilermakers will play three more times this weekend before also meeting twice next weekend in West Lafayette along with the Gophers playing a pair of games against Penn State also in West Lafayette to close out the season.

Equipment Sale!

The Minnesota Gopher Equipment Sale is this weekend. Usually held every two years it was postponed a year due to COVID. But that just means there are 3 years worth of goodies to pick through and purchase.

This year’s sale will include Covid-19 policies – including preregistration, mandatory face coverings, limited capacity and one-hour time slots – and will be held Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22.

Friday’s time slots are full but there is still plenty of space Saturday afternoon—reserve a spot by going HERE.

A wide array of items will be available, but some traditionally favorite items include:

• Apparel• Shoes• Bags• Equipment• Jerseys

The only form of payment that will be accepted is debit and credit cards. Cash and checks will not be accepted. All sales are final and there will not be any refunds or exchanges.

The sizes typically run large—imagine football and basketball surplus, but you can get some great stuff and deals if you look.

Have a great weekend!!