It was another positive weekend for the Minnesota Gophers volleyball team as they completed their non-conference schedule before jumping into the gauntlet that is Big Ten play. The Gophers won their own Diet Coke Classic sweeping St. Thomas and Iowa State in three sets each to close out the non-conference portion of the schedule on a four game winning streak.
Thursday night the Gophers hosted St. Thomas in the first ever official Division I meeting in any sport between the two schools. Minnesota gave the Tommies a rough welcome to the DI level as the Gophers easily took care of St. Thomas winning 25-14, 25-8, and 25-7. The Gophers did that sitting both senior star Stephanie Samedy, and sophomore Taylor Landfair whose presence was most definitely not needed.
Sophomore Jenna Wennas would take the lead on offense for the Gophers. She recorded 14 kills on the night and made just three errors hitting .423. The Gophers added eight kills from Ari Miyabe and six from freshman Natalie Glenn. True freshman Anna Wolf saw her first action of the season and recorded four kills and a pair of blocks.
On Saturday the Cyclones came up I-35 to take on Minnesota. While the match was closer than Thursday, the Gophers still easily controlled play and swept ISU by a score of 25-17, 25-19. and 25-20. Samedy returned for Minnesota and recorded 12 kills in the win, but Landfair sat out once again.
Jenna Wennas was the star for the second match in a row as she added 14 kills for the second match in a row to lead all players. Both added double digit digs as well to earn double-doubles for the match. Wennas was named the Big Ten Player of the Week for her efforts on Monday.
Minnesota will open Big Ten play this weekend with a pair of home matches at the Pav. The Gophers will host Michigan on Friday night at 8 PM live on BTN, and then face Maryland Sunday afternoon at 1PM in a match that can be streamed live on BTN+.
Soccer Clean Sheet Gets Messy:
The Gopher soccer team kicked off Big Ten Play last Saturday night against Wisconsin at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. It was their annual Rock the Robbie Night where tickets were just $1, and it was the first match in the history of the Gopher soccer program where they had sold out the stadium. The Gophers were a perfect 4-0-3 headed into Big Ten play and had yet to give up a goal. It looked like Minnesota might extend both streaks for a few minutes in the first half of the match, but they just ran out of gas as Wisconsin would score a pair of answering goals to claim a 2-1 lead and give Minnesota head coach Erin Chastain her first loss.
Junior Izzy Brown game the Gophers a 1-0 lead just 11 minutes into the game as she ran down the left side of the pitch, into the box and put forth a shot that trickled past Badger goalie Jordyn Bloomer.
Wisconsin would come right back. They tied the game four minutes later on a goal by Emma Jaskaniec whose left footed boot got past Gopher goalie Megan Plaschko for the first time this season. The team went to the half tied at one. Wisconsin would find a way to get the game winner in the 82nd minute. Jenna Kiraly got the ball in the Minnesota box after a misplay by the Gopher defense. She did not miss putting the ball past Plaschko and it would be enough to earn the Badgers the 2-1 win.
Tennis to open up at home
The Gopher women’s tennis team kicks off their season this weekend hosting the Gopher Invitational at the Baseline Tennis Center Friday through Sunday.