GOPHERS READY FOR BIG TEN PLAY
The University of Minnesota returns home for the first time in two weeks to play No. 20 Michigan and Michigan State, Friday and Sunday. Friday’s match is set for 7 p.m., followed by a noon tilt on Sunday.
FOLLOW THE GOPHERS
Minnesota’s Friday night match will be streamed on BTN Plus. Sunday’s noon match will be televised live on ESPN. Both matches will also feature a game day live page on gophersports.com.
GOPHERS WIN BOISE STATE CLASSIC
Minnesota earned three wins at the Boise State Classic, Sept. 15-16. The Golden Gophers played twice on Sept. 15 and defeated Oregon State (3-1) and host Boise State (3-2). The Gophers finished off the tournament with a 3-0 win over Idaho State. Alexis Hart was named the tournament’s most valuable player. She amassed 39 kills and hit .341. Also named to the all-tournament was Stephanie Samedy and Samantha Seliger-Swenson. Samedy hit .322 and averaged 4.67 kills per set, while Seliger-Swenson had 139 assists, 34 digs, six aces and nine blocks.
WEEKLY B1G HONORS
Stephanie Samedy and Samantha Seliger-Swenson both received Big Ten weekly conference honors, announced Monday by the league office. Seliger-Swenson was named the Big Ten Setter of the Week for the second time this season, while Samedy was named Co-Freshman of the Week. It marks Samedy’s third conference award in four weeks. The pair were both named to the Boise State Classic all-tournament team as they helped the Gophers win three matches this past weekend.
FRESHMAN IS TRANSITIONING WELL
Freshman Stephanie Samedy spoke with MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm to talk about her transition from high school star to college standout:
DID YOU KNOW?
Minnesota is one of seven Division I teams (329 teams) to go undefeated so far this season. Minnesota is also one of three within the Big Ten. Penn State is 10-0, followed by Wisconsin at 9-0. Other teams with perfect records include Florida, Miami (Fla.), James Madison, Providence and Towson.
BIG TEN OPENERS
Minnesota has won its last five Big Ten opening matches. The last time the Gophers fell in a Big Ten opening match dates back to 2011 against Illinois. The last time the Gophers faced Michigan and Michigan State in their opening Big Ten weekend was in 2010. The Gophers won their opening match against Michigan State that year, but fell to the Wolverines back in 2010.
AROUND THE BIG TEN
Minnesota has a few individuals that rank high in the Big Ten statistical categories. Samantha Seliger-Swenson leads the pack in assists per set as she averages 12.26 per set, while Stephanie Samedy has a league-best 4.55 kills per set. Regan Pittman ranks seventh in Big Ten blocks per set (1.24), while Dalianliz Rosado holds the fourth-best digs per set (4.61).
No. 20 Michigan enters the Minnesota match with a 10-2 non-conference record. The Wolverines fell to Colorado State and USC earlier this season and enter this weekend with a four-match win streak. As a team, Michigan leads the Big Ten in kills, averaging 14.69 per set. Co-Big Ten Player of the Week Carly Skojdt leads the team with 126 kills (3.23 per set), followed by Adeja Lambert at 121 (3.10 kps) and Claire Kieffer-Wright has 103 (2.64 kps). MacKenzi Welsh leads the team with 389 assists, while Jenna Lerg has a team-best 157 digs. As a team, the Wolverines are hitting .291 and average 2.46 blocks per set.
ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE
Michigan State enters Big Ten play with a 7-2 record, as it canceled three matches, including one against Florida, due to Hurricane Irma. The Spartans lead the league in aces per set (1.82) and digs per set (16.82) and third in blocks per set (3.05). Holly Toliver has 83 kills, averages 3.05 kills per set and second on the team with 13 aces. Alyssa Garvelink follows with 78 kills, is hitting .391 and averages 1.89 blocks per set. Rachel Minarick has 218 assists and a Big Ten best 14 aces (0.64). Abby Monson averages 4.29 digs per set, while Autumn Bailey is second with 3.48 digs per set.
THE LAST TIME
Minnesota last competed against Michigan and Michigan State at the Pav, late November 2016. Both matches went five sets, as the Gophers won both. Against the Spartans on Nov. 18, Minnesota won the first two sets, 25-17, 25-18, lost the next two, 21-25, 19-25, and won the fifth, 18-16. The Gophers and Spartans split action last season, as each team won a five-set match on their home court.
Minnesota and Michigan also played in a five-set match the last time these two teams met. On Nov. 20 at the Pav, the Gophers won the first two sets, 25-23, lost the next two sets, 23-25, but came back and won the fifth, 15-12. It was the lone meeting between the two teams last season.
Minnesota is 53-15 all-time against the Wolverines, dating back to 1975. Minnesota has gone 4-1 in the past five matches against Michigan, as it dropped a match in 2014 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Minnesota is 52-18-0 all time against Michigan State, dating back to 1976. The Gophers have gone 4-1 against the Spartans in the two team’s last five meetings, as it dropped a five-set road contest last year.
(info courtesy of Gopher Sports Communications)