The University of Minnesota volleyball program has announced its full 2023 fall schedule. As announced previously, Minnesota will compete in eight non-conference matches before beginning a 20-match Big Ten conference schedule on Sept. 20 at Iowa. Game times and broadcast information will follow at a later time.
Year one of the Keegan Cook era in Minneapolis officially kicks off with the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge. Minnesota will host TCU and Baylor at Maturi Pavilion on Friday, Aug. 25 and Saturday, Aug. 26. The Gophers won the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge last year with a four-set win over Baylor and a sweep of TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. Wisconsin is the other Big Ten team in the challenge, and they’ll play Baylor on Friday, TCU on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Aug. 29, the Gophers will host defending champion Texas at Maturi Pavilion. The two teams have competed the last couple seasons, with last year’s bout taking place in Austin. Game time is still to be determined.
The first road game for the ‘U’ will be on Sunday, Sept. 3 against the Florida Gators. Minnesota last played at Florida in 2021. This game will take place at noon ET/11 a.m. CT in Gainesville, Fla.
The Gophers will go on the road once again for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, which will take place in Palo Alto, Calif., hosted by Stanford. The Gophers take on Oregon at 6:30 p.m. CT/4:30 PST to open the tournament on Friday, Sept. 8. They’ll play the hosts, Stanford, at 9 p.m. CT/7 p.m. PST on Saturday, Sept. 9. Ohio State is the other Big Ten representative.
High Point and Creighton will be in town for the Diet Coke Classic from Sept. 14-16. The ‘U’ will host High Point on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. and Creighton on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 4:30 p.m.
The Gophers open league action on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at Iowa before going to Nebraska on Sunday, Sept. 24. The Gophers open up their home conference slate on Friday, Sept. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 30 against Michigan and Penn State, respectively.
October kicks off with an east coast trip to Maryland (Friday, Oct. 6) and Rutgers (Saturday, Oct. 7) before completing the road stand at Michigan on Wednesday, Oct. 11. The ‘U’ returns home for three home games after that, beginning with a Sunday matinee vs. Northwestern (Oct. 15). Minnesota hosts Rutgers (Oct. 20) and Michigan State (Oct. 22) on Friday and Sunday.
The month closes out with road tilts at Purdue on Thursday (Oct. 26) and Wisconsin on Sunday (Oct. 29). Two more road games are on tap after that with the Gophers going to Ohio State on Friday, Nov. 3 and Northwestern on Sunday, Nov. 5. A Friday night home match against Purdue ensues (Nov. 10) before the ‘U’ goes to Indiana for its final road tilt on Sunday, Nov. 12.
Minnesota gets four straight home games to end the season, starting with Iowa on Friday, Nov. 17 and Ohio State on Saturday, Nov. 18. The Gophers close out on Thanksgiving weekend versus Illinois on Friday, Nov. 24 and Nebraska on Saturday, Nov. 25 for Senior Night at the Pav.
For the 2023 season, Minnesota returns seven athletes who started matches in last season’s run to the NCAA Regional Semifinal. The ‘U’ finished No. 10 in the final AVCA Poll, its eighth straight top-10 finish nationally.
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-Matches against teams that finished in the AVCA Top-25: 14
-Matches against teams that finished in the AVCA Top-10: 8
-Home matches against teams that finished in the AVCA Top-25: 7
-Road/Neutral matches against teams that finished in the AVCA Top-25: 7
-Matches against 2022 NCAA Tournament Teams: 16
-Matches against 2022 Sweet 16 Teams: 12
-All eight of Minnesota’s eight non-conference matchups are vs. 2021 NCAA Tournament teams.
-For the fourth time in the last five seasons, Minnesota will partake in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. The ‘U’ and is 5-3 all-time in the challenge.
-Minnesota plays in the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge for the third year in-a-row. The Gophers won it last year in Fort Worth, Texas, taking down Baylor (3-1) and TCU (3-0).
-The Gophers take on defending champion Texas at home on Aug. 29. Minnesota is 5-7 all-time vs. Texas and last won vs. UT in Austin in 2017.
-Minnesota opens conference play at Iowa, its second straight season opening league play on the road.
-Homecoming weekend is Saturday, Sept. 30 as the ‘U’ takes on Penn State.
-Conference opponents Minnesota plays twice: Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers
-Conference opponents Minnesota plays once: Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State Penn State, Wisconsin
-Minnesota stays for Thanksgiving weekend for just the third time in the last 12 years.
(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)