GOPHERS HOSTS DIET COKE CLASSIC
The University of Minnesota welcomes Clemson and Oral Roberts to Maturi Pavilion, Sept. 19-21. Minnesota takes on Clemson Thursday night and Oral Roberts Saturday. Both match times begin at 7 p.m. On Friday, Clemson and Oral Roberts will compete in a neutral site match at Maturi Pavilion, at 5 p.m. Friday’s match is a non-ticketed event. This weekend also marks the end of nonconference play.
Gopher head coach Hugh McCutcheon sat down with MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm:
FOLLOW THE GOPHERS
All three matches of the Diet Coke Classic is available on BTN +. A game day live page will be available for the Gopher matches Thursday and Saturday.
The Clemson Tigers enter the weekend with a 5-4 overall record. They most recently played No. 9 Wisconsin, losing in three sets. Kaylin Korte leads the Tigers with 102 kills, averaging .216 kills per set. She also has 81 digs. Madi Howell comes in with 92 digs and Emily Curtis has 86. Annika Clark leads the blockers with 27, while Alyssa Deloney has 22 blocks. Mckenna Slavik offers up 21 blocks and 324 assists. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .237 and average 13.06 kills per set.
ABOUT ORAL ROBERTS
Oral Roberts is coming to Minnesota with a 4-8 record. They’ve lost their past five matches, most recently losing 1-3 to Ole Miss. CeCe Madison leads the Eagles with 168 kills. She averages 3.82 kills per set and has 140 digs. Bri Greenlee averages 0.82 blocks per set, while Taylan Nero averages 0.75. Sylvia Lawson offers up 409 assists and 107 digs, and Sarah Thiessen has 186 digs. As a team, the Eagles are hitting .215 and average 10.4 kills per set.
It’s been over 36 years since the Gophers have faced either Clemson or Oral Roberts in school history. Minnesota and Clemson are facing each other for just the second time. The first came in 1982 when the Gophers won, 15-8, 15-9.
Minnesota is competing against Oral Roberts for the first time since 1983 and just the fourth time in school history. The Gophers hold a 3-0 all-time record as all three game within 1978-1983.
DIET COKE CLASSIC HISTORY
Minnesota has been hosting the Diet Coke Classic since 1996. During that span, the Gophers have held a 56-8 record. The last loss in the DCC came in 2010 when Minnesota fell to Northern Iowa, who was ranked No. 22 at the time.
ON THE DOCKET
Minnesota opens Big Ten play next weekend when Indiana and Purdue come to town, Sept. 27-28. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m. starts.
LAST WEEK’S RECAP
Minnesota earned a pair of back-to-back ranked wins over then No. 10 Oregon and No. 1 Stanford as a part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, hosted by Penn State. The Golden Gophers won in straight sets over the Ducks, 25-23, 25-18, 25-29. Minnesota came back the next day and defeated the Cardinal in four, 27-25, 27-25, 23-25, 25-20. With the win, it marked Minnesota’s first win over Stanford in program history and snapped its 37-match unbeaten streak. On the weekend, Minnesota was led by Stephanie Samedy, who had 35 kills. Regan Pittman posted 14 blocks and hit .410 on the weekend, while Kylie Miller averaged 12.57 assists per set. As a team, Minnesota hit .241, averaged 3.14 blocks per set and 20 digs per set.
SAMEDY NAMED AVCA NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Minnesota junior right side hitter Stephanie Samedy was named the AVCA National Player of the Week after her past weekend’s performance against Oregon and Stanford. Samedy had 35 kills in the pair of wins, which averaged to 5.00 kills per set. She also added two aces, 22 digs and seven blocks. In both matches last weekend, Samedy added two double-doubles, her fourth and fifth of the season. Samedy was also named AVCA Player of the Week as a sophomore last year.
TRIO RECEIVES B1G WEEKLY HONORS
Stephanie Samedy, Regan Pittman and Kylie Miller all garnered Big Ten weekly honors in a pair of wins against ranked teams last week. Samedy was named the Big Ten’s Player of the Week, Pittman was named Defensive Player of the Week and Miller was named Setter of the Week. It marks Samedy and Pittman’s first time this season, and Miller’s second-straight setter of the week award.
GOPHERS ON DEFENSE
Minnesota averaged 3.14 blocks per set last weekend at the Big Ten/Pac 12 Challenge. Regan Pittman had 14, while Stephanie Samedy had seven and Taylor Morgan had six. The Gophers also averaged 20 digs per set and a total of 140 last weekend. Libero CC McGraw had 30 alone, followed by Adanna Rollins with 27 and Kylie Miller with 25.
AROUND THE BIG TEN
Entering this week, Nebraska is the only Big Ten that remains perfect in the first three weeks of the season. Michigan State, Penn State and Purdue have suffered one loss, while the rest of the Big Ten has at least two losses heading into the last week of nonconference play. Stephanie Samedy averages 4.95 kills per set, which ranks first in the Big Ten. Kylie Miller ranks first in the league in assists per set (12.84), while Regan Pittman is ranked third in blocks (1.47 per set). As a team, the Gophers hold a league-best 15.74 kills per set and 18.47 digs per set.
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. 1 spot, followed by Penn State (4), Minnesota (7), Wisconsin (9), Illinois (19) and Purdue (21). Michigan is receiving votes.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)