It was another busy weekend for the Minnesota Gophers non-revenue sports teams. Here’s how they faired in their action in case you missed it.
The Gophers hosted their annual Diet Coke Classic at the Pav on Thursday and Sunday. Thursday the Gophers got off to a very slow start and dropped the opening set to High Point, but would come back and win three straight to pick up a 3-1 win. Minnesota lost the first set 25-22 but would battle back dominantly in the second set winning 25-11. They would pick up seven aces in the set. High Point battled back in set three, but the Gophers still pulled it out 25-20 and would finish off the win with a 25-17 4th set win. Mckenna Wucherer led the Gophers with 15 kills. Cal transfer Lydia Grote had her best match of the season earning 13 kills and a team high four aces.
Sunday the #9 ranked Gophers took on #14 Creighton in the non-conference finale. Minnesota had issues with passing all-match and got an injury scare when Melani Shaffmaster went down in the third set, and could not hold off the Blue Jays losing 3-2. Grote was even better on Sunday leading the Gophers with 20 kills and 13 digs.
Minnesota lost the opener 25-15 in a set where they never were in control and played from behind the entire time. They battled back to even the match with a 25-16 win in set two. Creighton came right back and picked up a 25-20 win in the third set to take control, but the Gophers would not give up and once again evened the match with a 25-22 win to firce a fifth set. In the fifth the Gophers again were outmatched as Creighton ran out to an early 9-1 lead and cruised to the win. Wucherer and Grote were named to the All-Tournament team.
Minnesota finishes the non-conference season at a disappointing 4-4 and will begin Big Ten play at Iowa on Thursday.
The Gophers headed to Ann Arbor for the Big Ten opener last Friday night and could not find a way to pull out a win falling 1-0 to the #23 ranked Wolverines. Michigan scored the lone goal 33 minutes into the match by Jenna Lange. The Gophers would put five shots on goal in the game, but Wolverines keeper Stephanie Sparkowski stopped them all. Gopher goalie Megan Plaschko made four saves in the loss.
The Gophers open home Big Ten play Friday night against Michigan State.
The Gopher tennis team opened the fall season by hosting the Baseline Invitational this weekend. Throughout the weekend, the Gophers matched up against six regional opponents in North Dakota, South Dakota, Northern Iowa, Marquette, Omaha, and St. Thomas. Each day began with two rounds of doubles, followed by a round of best two-out-of-three singles play. The Gopher Tennis squad finished with overall records of 12-6 in doubles and 14-4 in singles.
Both sophomore Sofia Pizzoni and freshman Emma Belluomini went 3-0 on the weekend in singles play to lead the way for the Gophers.
The Gopher women were in action at the Leadership & Golf Invitational played at Chambers Bay Golf Course in Tacoma Washington this week. it was a great performance for the Gophers who would take home second place honors shooting a team score of +4. The 54 round total of 868 strokes is the sevenths lowest total in program history.
Minnesota had two individual finishers in the top ten as grad student Grace Curran would finish in 6th place at -1. She shot an opening round -5 67 before struggling in the second round and dropping four strokes. She would finish with an even par round of 72.
Senior California Baptist transfer Hailey Loh finishes in a tie for 10th place at even par. She had two great rounds shooting -2 70 in the opening 18 and then a -5 67 in the second round to be in second place after the first day. Unfortunately she struggled in the tough conditions in the final round on Tuesday and shot a +7 79 to drop back to even par for the tournament.
Mara Braun and the US U21 3x3 team would win the Nations League Title on Friday going 3-0 in the medal round picking up wins over Egypt, the US U 23 team and China to take home the title. Braun would score four pints in the win over Egypt, two in the win over the US U 23 squad, and six in the Championship winner against China. In her six games in the Nations League finals, Braun scored 24 points, good for the 9th highest total for all players in the tournament.