The Minnesota Gophers Non-Rev Review is here to keep you updated on everything that happened in the non-revenue sports world and a look ahead to a huge weekend for several Minnesota teams.
The Gopher women’s hockey team moved to 6-0 on the season with a home and home sweep of St. Cloud State. Minnesota knocked off the Huskies 4-2 on Friday after scoring all four goals in the first period, and then got a late goal from Grace Zumwinkle to squeak out a 2-1 win on Saturday back at Ridder Arena.
Friday night Minnesota scored early and often in the opening period. Abbey Murphy got things going just 1:05 into the game and just three minutes later it was Abigail Boreen’s turn to light the lamp to make it 2-0. Zumwinkle got her first of the weekend 9:08 into the period and then Taylor Heise capped off the scoring for Minnesota late in the period.
St. Cloud State would not give up and a pair of goals just over a minute apart in the final moments of the second period cut the Gopher lead to 4-2. Both teams would remain scoreless in the third as the Gophers would use a 20 save performance from Skylar Vetter t get the win.
Saturday was a much tighter game with Minnesota struggling to get the puck past SCSU goalie Sanni Ahola. The Huskies took a 1-0 lead just 54 seconds into the game off of a rebound by Vetter and Minnesota trailed for the first time this season. They would equalize the game at the 11:41 mark of the first period when Madison Kaiser scored her second goal of the season. It would remain tied at 1 until Zumwinkle put in a rebound with 4:02 left in the game to get the 2-1 win. Ahola was great in net for the Huskies making 43 saves in the loss. Vetter needed just 20 saves once again to earn the sweep on the weekend.
Minnesota’s schedule takes a huge step upward in competition level this weekend as they head to Columbus to face the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes in a #1vs #2 matchup. The games face-off at 5PM Friday and 2PM Saturday with Saturday’s game airing on Fox9+ in Minnesota.
The Gopher volleyball team got back on track last week after the announcement that head coach Hugh McCutcheon would be making the 2022 season his last in charge of the Gophers. Minnesota headed to Iowa City on Wednesday night and picked up an easy 3-0 sweep of the Hawkeyes before returning home Saturday for a huge match against #12 Purdue. The Gophers played one of their better matches of the season and would go on to win 3-1 over the Boilermakers.
Minnesota was not really tested at all against the Hawkeyes. In what would be the Gophers 50th consecutive win over Iowa, and most likely McCutcheon’s final match against Iowa which leaves him 17-0 all time against the Hawkeyes, the Gophers started out hot jumping to a5-2 lead in set 1. Iowa would battle back and keep it close, but get no closer than 23-22 as Minnesota took the final two points for a 25-22 opening set win led by Taylor Landfair’s six kills in the set.
That’s as close as it would get for Iowa as Minnesota ran away with sets two and three. After an early 6-2 lead for the Gophers, Iowa never got any closer than four points away and Minnesota coasted for a 25-15 second set win. The third was more of the same with Minnesota just dominating for a 25-11 win and the sweep. Landfair would finish with 13 kills to lead the Gophers and give her double digit kills for the 17th time this season and 35th time in her career. She’s one of two players in the country to have double digit kills in every match, Naya Gros has 8 blocks for the Gophers to lead the way.
Saturday’s matchup against the Boilermakers would be a large one for the Big Ten standings. Purdue has lost to Maryland earlier in the week and Minnesota could leapfrog the Boilermakers with a win. The first set was tight fought with neither team giving an inch. Minnesota took an early lead before a 6-1 run from Purdue erased that. Minnesota once again clawed back and would go ahead 9-8 after back to back blocks and kills from Gros. Purdue jumped ahead twice and with a 19-14 set lead appeared to have things under control, but the Gophers would not give in. After trading points to get the score to 22-17, Minnesota would go on a 4-0 run by virtue of a McKenna Wucherer kill, an Ellie Huseman block, a Purdue error and a Landfair kill to make it 22-21. Purdue would score the next two to go up 24-21 and have three set points, which the Gophers would fend off with a Landfair kill, a Purdue error and a combo block by Gros and Jenna Wenaas. Minnesota led Purdue watch the final points slip away on errors and watch Minnesota arguably steal set 1 27-25.
Set two was more of the same, but this time the Gophers couldn’t quite come back far enough. Purdue jumped out early and led by as many as seven points at 22-15 before Minnesota once again furiously came back. The Gophers would get it as close as 24-23 with a 8-2 run, but Purdue got a huge block to finish off the 25-23 win to eve the match at one.
The Gophers came out from the break and finally took control of a set. After a 4-4 tie, Minnesota never let the Boilermakers back within two the rest of the set. Minnesota took a large lead this time and watched Purdue furiously come back taking a 18-11 lead at one point down to just two as 23-21, but the Gophers would finish off the 25-23 win with a Gros kill and another Purdue error.
Set four was back and forth again until Minnesota took their opening and attacked. Minnesota led by just one at 15-14 before closing on a 10-5 run for a 25-19 win led by Lauren Crowl’s career high seven kills all coming in the final two sets. Landfair would once again lead Minnesota with 21 kills. CC McGraw picked up 17 digs in the match which moved her into #4 all-time in Gopher history with 1,753.
Landfair was honored by the Big Ten on Tuesday as the Co-Big Ten Player of the Week making it twice in October was honored by the conference. She ranks first on the team and second in the Big Ten in both points (5.09) and kills (4.55) per set.
Minnesota hosts a Michigan State team they swept two weeks ago in East Lansing on Wednesday night before a huge match at Wisconsin on Saturday. The badgers will be out for revenge after Minnesota swept them in the Pav in September. It’s Wisconsin’s lone conference loss on the season as they are in second place tied with Ohio State at 9-1, behind only 10-0 Nebraska. Minnesota sits at 7-3 in fourth place. Wednesday’s match against the Spartans will begin at 7 and stream on BTN+. Saturday’s match in Madison will begin at 5:30 and air live on BTN.
Swimming and Diving:
The #25 Gophers swim and dive teams both hosted SMU this past week and both brought home victories. The Gopher women moved to 3-0 on the season with a 260-93 thrashing of the Mustangs, while the men moved to 2-0 with a 214-137 win.
The Gopher women were led by junior Megan Van Berkom who picked up a pair of individual victories. The highlight was a win in the 400 IM where she recorded the first NCAA ‘B’ cut of the season on the team by finishing in a time of 4:16.69, over seven seconds ahead of the field. She picked up a second win in the 200 fly, besting the competition by nearly five seconds with a winning time of 2:00.68. Sophomore Hannah Cornish also picked up a pair of victories, one individual and one on a relay. Cornish would win the 100 free (50.31) and was leadoff for the 200 free relay team along with seniors Olivia Bloomer, Maggie Summit and Jordan McGinty that came in first at 1:33.20.
In the diving well senior Joy Zhu captured first on the 1-meter as her score of 305.25 was 38 points clear of the field. She is perfect on the year at 3-0.
On the men’s side the Gophers were led by their All-American and NCAA Champion Max McHugh who earned a pair of NCAA B cuts in the 100 breast (53.07) and 200 breast (1:56.84).
Minnesota returns to action at home next Friday when the Gophers host St. Thomas and South Dakota State at 5 PM.
The Gophers cross country teams completed their final meet of the regular season this weekend at home in Rocky’s Run. The open 6K meet is held annually in memory of Gopher runner Rochelle “Rocky” Racette. The Gophers took the top five spots on both the men’s and women’s sides running several of their younger and not championships team runners.
The Gophers full squads head to Ann Arbor this Friday for the Big Ten Championships. The women’s 6K race will begin at 9:45 AM with the Men’s 8 K race kicking off at 10:45. Both races will stream live on BTN+.
The Gopher men wrapped up their fall season this past weekend at the Isleworth Collegiate hosted by Central Florida at the Isleworth Country Club. The Gophers finished in 12th place of the 15 team field at +25 for the three round tournament. Ben Warian led the Gophers with a tied for 17th place finish shooting -1 for the tournament.