GOPHERS HEAD TO IOWA WEDNESDAY
The University of Minnesota is on the road for the first time in two weeks when it travels to Iowa, Wednesday night in Iowa City, Iowa. Match time is set for 6 p.m., at Carver Hawkeye Arena.
Coach Hugh McCutcheon says his team will need to play focused volleyball to win in Iowa City:
FOLLOW THE GOPHERS
The Gophers/Iowa match can be seen on Big Ten Network. Fans can watch the BTN broadcast on the linear station as well as through the FOX app on mobile or tablet. A game day live page will also be available on gophersports.com.
Iowa enters the Minnesota match with a 7-6 record. The Hawkeyes opened conference play with a 3-1 win over Northwestern and fell in straight sets to Illinois. Leading Iowa in kills is Griere Hughes. She has 138, averaging 3.45 kills per set. She is followed by Courtney Buzzerio who has 132 kills and averages 2.69 kills per set. Amiya Jones offers up 38 blocks, while Hannah Clayton has 34. Gabrielle Orr has 493 assists and Halle Johnson leads the team with 225 digs. As a team, the Hawkeyes are hitting .265, average 13.39 kills per set.
Minnesota is 77-11 all-time against Iowa, dating back to 1975. The Gophers and Hawkeyes met just once last year as Minnesota earned a 3-0 sweep in Iowa City. The Gophers won the contested match, 25- 23, 25-18, 25-20.
ON THE DOCKET
Minnesota returns to Maturi Pavilion, Saturday night at 8 p.m., when it hosts Rutgers. The match will be shown on BTN+.
LAST WEEK’s RECAP
Minnesota opened the Big Ten Conference season with a pair of 3-0 wins over Indiana and then No. 15 Purdue last weekend. Minnesota was led by Stephanie Samedy, who averaged 4.67 kills per set on the weekend, while Alexis Hart followed with 19 and hit .333. Regan Pittman and Taylor Morgan each hit over .400 in the opening conference weekend, while CC McGraw had a team-best 33 digs. Kylie Miller started as the Gopher setter on Friday and had 32 assists, while Bayley McMenimen started as setter on Saturday against the Boilermakers and had 45 assists.
GOPHERS AND B1G WEEKLY AWARDS
Minnesota had three individuals receive Big Ten Conference’s weekly honors, announced Monday by the league office. Stephanie Samedy was named Big Ten’s Player of the Week, CC McGraw was named Defensive Player of the Week and Bayley McMenimen was named Setter of the Week. It’s the second weekly award for Samedy and the first of the season for McGraw and McMenimen. It also marks the first ever award for McMenimen of her collegiate career. Samedy led the Gophers’ offensive charge as Minnesota opened the Big Ten season with 28 kills in 74 attempts, four aces, 19 digs and six blocks. She also averaged 4.67 kills per set this weekend. McGraw averaged 5.50 digs per set and a team-best 33 digs in a pair of wins over Indiana and No. 15 Purdue. McMenimen started in her first collegiate volleyball match and shined in the win over No. 15 Purdue. She averaged 15 assists per set when she had 45 assists in three sets. She also added 12 digs for her double-double of her career.
AROUND THE BIG TEN
Along with Minnesota, four teams went 2-0 in the opening weekend of Big Ten play: Nebraska, Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin. Among Big Ten players, Stephanie Samedy ranks second in kills per set as she averages 4.52 kills per set. Kylie Miller ranks first in the league in assists per set (11.93), while Regan Pittman ranks third in blocks (1.29 per set) and CC McGraw ranks fourth in digs (4.42 per set). As a team, the Gophers hold a league-best 15.39 kills per set and 18.42 digs per set.
DID YOU KNOW?
Senior setter Kylie Miller leads the NCAA in assists per set at 11.93. As a team, the Gophers also lead the same category, averaging 14.55 The Gophers also lead the nation in kills per set at 15.39.
GOPHERS RANKED SEVENTH IN AVCA POLL
Minnesota is ranked No. 7 in this week’s poll, announced Monday by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. In all, six Big Ten Conference teams are ranked in the preseason top 25. Nebraska holds the No. 2 spot, followed by Penn State (5), Minnesota (7), Wisconsin (13), Purdue (17) and Illinois (18). Michigan is receiving votes.
GOPHER VOLLEYBALL ALUMNA SET TO HOMECOMING GRAND MARSHAL
Gopher volleyball alumna Michele A. Brekke will serve as Grand Marshal for the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus 2019 Homecoming parade on October 4. Brekke retired in 2014 from NASA’s Johnson Space Center after 37 years of service in human spaceflight mission operations. Each year, the U of M Alumni Association selects as Grand Marshal a graduate who has demonstrated exceptional passion for the University and dedication to its mission. These talented alumni also serve as role models for future and current students. Brekke, now a flight manager for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner operational missions, holds B.S (’75) and M.S. (’77) degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Minnesota. She has received several leadership awards, including recognition from the U’s College of Science and Engineering and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Award. During her time at the U of M, she was also a volleyball letter winner. In 1986, she was inducted into The Golden Spikers, Minnesota’s volleyball hall of fame of that time.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)