August 2014 Archives

Gopher Alum to Co-Host Sports Show


Gopher women's hockey alum Krissy Wendell has been named the co-host of a Minnesota high school sports television program airing on 45TV this year. The two-time Olympian will co-host MN Prep Spotlight with Tori Holt. The first installment of the half-hour show is set to air at 11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30.

School Space Media is partnering with Hubbard Broadcasting to air the program on 45TV. MN Prep Spotlight will cover "human interest features and highlights/scores on all parts of Minnesota high school athletics." The program is scheduled to run through the end of the Minnesota State High School League Baseball Tournament and will cover all MSHSL sanctioned athletics.

"I am really excited to join the show," Wendell said. "I have always talked about how passionate I am regarding high school athletics, and I am very eager to get started this coming fall."

"Adding Krissy to our team demonstrates our commitment to providing knowledgeable and insightful analysis into prep sports in Minnesota," said School Space Media's President Brian Nicholson. "Her experience as a prep athlete, a two-time Olympian and lifelong athlete helps Prep Spotlight share stories of interesting and exceptional young athletes and those who help shape them."

Wendell competed for the Gophers for three seasons from 2002-03 through 2004-05. She was a three-time All-American and the 2005 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner. Wendell still ranks second in Gopher women's hockey career scoring with 237 points (106 goals, 131 assists). In addition to winning two NCAA national championships with the Gophers, Wendell competed for Team USA in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah and the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. Wendell recently joined 45TV as a studio analyst during the MSHSL Girls Hockey Tournament as well.

Softball Summer Blog #8: Hannah Granger

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Granger.jpg Summer Blog Photo Gallery

Hello folks! This summer has been quite a whirlwind of hard work and good times. I started out the summer at home in Wheaton, Ill. for a couple of weeks where I got to spend some nice quality time with my family, friends, and my dog, Sugar.

It was nice to be home and relax for a bit before I returned back to campus to start my summer classes. I took a Spanish course to fulfill a minor requirement and a course about technology in the elementary classroom for my major, Elementary Education. When I wasn't in class, I was putting in work in the weight room with our strength coach, Sara Wiley, to get ready for the season.

I also spent some time hitting with Erica Meyer in the mornings and volunteering when I could. The rest of my days were filled with some fun projects including: creating fun, new wall art for my room, organizing my ever-growing closet, and catching up on television shows I was too busy to watch during the school year. On nice days, I am fortunate enough to go to the Meyer's house and spend some time on the lake with Erica and some other teammates.

Other than the normal schedule, I had three really special days this summer. The first was tubing down the Apple River with some of my teammates. It was a beautiful day and we just got to lay in some inner tubes and float along the Apple River for three hours just relaxing and talking. When we were done, we headed into Stillwater for a nice dinner and some more fun.

The second was my trip home in the beginning of August for Lollapalooza, a music festival in Chicago. Everyone on the team knows that I am a HUGE music fan, and going to concerts is what makes me happiest. So, going to Lollapalooza is a real treat. This year, my whole family went and it was really special to get to share our love of music and concerts with each other for three days in Chicago.

My third favorite day of summer would have to be actually a couple of days this past week. The seniors on campus got to help the freshmen move into their dorms and get settled. It is really great to see them excited to get started and be a part of the Gopher Softball program. We are really fortunate to be adding six more girls and their families to the Gopher Softball family. These freshmen are extremely talented and great to be around. It is going to be really fun to see their impact this year and in the years to come after my senior class leaves the program.

I am looking forward to starting this fall season; hope to see you all at some games!

Previous Blogs:
Softball Summer Blog #1: Erica Meyer
Softball Summer Blog #2: Erika Smyth
Softball Summer Blog #3: Madie Eckstrom

Parenteau Joins Orlando Solar Bears

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Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!Jake Parenteau

MINNEAPOLIS ( - Gopher Hockey alum Jake Parenteau has agreed to terms with the Orlando Solar Bears of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), adding to the list of former Gophers on the organization's roster entering 2014-15. 

A native of Franconia, Minn., Parenteau played in 113 career games for the Maroon & Gold and totaled 22 points (four goals, 18 assists) as a member of the team's defensive corps. Parenteau and the senior class took Minnesota to a pair of Frozen Four appearances in 2012 and 2014 including reaching the national championship game last season. The senior class also guided the Gophers to three-straight regular-season conference championships for the first time in program history (2012-14). The defenseman closed out his academic career by earning Academic All-Big Ten honors and the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award in 2014. He was also honored with Minnesota's Donald M. Clark Community Service Award during his final year with the program. 

Orlando now boasts three Gopher Hockey alums on roster with Parenteau joining goaltender Kent Patterson and forward Jacob Cepis. 

-Pride On Ice-

What They're Saying - Aug. 29

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Follow Golden Gopher Football:    
Everything you need to know for tonight's game (GopherSports)
Gophers looking for big plays (Star Tribune)
Minnesota making progress (Pioneer Press)
Predictions from Joe C (Star Tribune) and Marcus (Pioneer Press)
These Gophers play defense (Star Tribune)
Setting high goals (
Breaking down the Gophers' schedule (

What They're Saying - Aug. 26

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Follow Golden Gopher Football:    
Buy Tickets! (MyGopherSports)
Come have lunch with Coach Kill today (GopherSports)
Back to the box for Coach Claeys (Pioneer Press)
Some stuff you didn't know - but should - here (GopherSports)
All the audio you want to listen to (Audioboo)
What will make this year a success? (1500ESPN)
Minnesota is finally a one quarterback team (Star Tribune)
Eastern Illinois has Gophers attention (Pioneer Press)
Epping sees good things for the offensive line (Star Tribune)
Check us out on Instagram (Instagram)

Gophers at the Minnesota State Fair

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Go Gophers! MN_INDGo Gophers!
Join Gopher Hockey at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair on Wednesday as head coach Don Lucia and members of the Maroon & Gold hit up the "Great Minnesota Get-Together" before the start of the 2014-15 season. 

Coach Lucia and Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo kick off the day with a Hockey Roundtable at the 1500 ESPN booth (Chambers St. & Carnes Ave.) at noon as part of the Mackey and Judd morning show before Lucia joins WCCO News at Noon at 12:20 (Nelson St. & Carnes Ave.). 

Kyle Rau, Seth Ambroz and Ben Marshall will then join Lucia at the University of Minnesota Stage on Dan Patch Ave. (between Underwood St. & Cooper St.) for a Q&A session starting at 1 p.m. Fans are invited to get autographs and take pictures with the Big Ten regular-season championship trophy and the North Star College Cup before and after the Q&A session. 

Join the Gophers at the MN State Fair

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Go Gophers! Rachel Banham at State FairGo Gophers!
Head coach Marlene Stollings and members of the University of Minnesota women's basketball team will join the throngs headed for the "Great Minnesota Get Together" Wednesday, as the squad is scheduled to make its annual appearance at the Minnesota State Fair on the U of M Building stage at 4 p.m. The Gophers will preview the 2014-15 season and participate in a question and answer session. 

The U of M Building is located on Dan Patch Ave., and also houses videos and photos from the 2013-14 athletic season, as well as Golden Gopher merchandise. 

Full Minnesota Women's Basketball State Fair Schedule
12:30 p.m. - Coach Marlene and Rachel Banham on 1500 ESPN with Mackey and Judd
3:15 p.m. - Coach Marlene and Rachel Banham on 105 The Ticket with Mike Morris and Bob Sansevere
4 p.m. - Coach Marlene and Gophers on stage at the UofM Building
4:45 p.m. - Coach Marlene and Gophers live on WCCO-TV
5:15 p.m. - Coach Marlene and Rachel Banham on 1500 ESPN with Patrick Reusse

U22 Series Game 3: USA Wins, Sweeps Canada

The U.S. Women's Under-22 Select Team earned a three-game sweep over Canada in the 2014 Under-22 Series with a 3-2 shootout victory in game three on Sunday. The U.S. rallied to tie the game at 2-2, scoring two goals in the final two minutes of regulation to force overtime.

With Canada leading 2-0 late in the game, Hannah Brandt redirected a shot by Lee Stecklein on the power play to cut Canada's lead to one. Alex Carpenter then scored the game-tying goal for the U.S. just 29 seconds later. Neither team scored in overtime to send the game to a shootout. Carpenter also scored twice in the shootout to help secure the U.S. victory.

The U.S. won 2-1 and 6-0 in the first two games of the series. Fellow Gophers Milica McMillen and Dani Cameranesi (2G) joined Brandt (1G-3A) and Stecklein (1A) in representing the Maroon and Gold on the U.S. squad. The Gopher quartet combined for seven points in the series, led by Brandt's four points.

Catch up on highlights and tweets from game three of the series.

What They're Saying - Aug. 24

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Follow Golden Gopher Football:    
Five Things You Need to Know (GopherSports)
Looking to build on last season's success (Star Tribune)
Team believes in Leidner (Pioneer Press)
Auction ends today...great items at 50 percent of retail (GopherSports)
Healthy Maye could be offensive weapon (Star Tribune)
#BrickByBrick (GopherSports)
Gophers will play some freshmen (Sid)
Come to a game (MyGopherSports)
Chris Streveler news (Star Tribune and Pioneer Press)
Gophers looking to be more versatile on offense (FSN)

U22 Series Game 2: USA Wins 6-0

The U.S. Women's Under-22 Select Team picked up its second-straight win over Canada in the teams' annual under-22 series, skating to a 6-0 win Friday afternoon. The U.S. scored four goals in the first period and rolled past Canada to take a 2-0 lead in the three-game series.

The line of Dani Cameranesi (2G), Hannah Brandt (3A) and Haley Skarupa (1G-2A) led the U.S. with eight points. Cameranesi's two-goal effort included scoring the game winner just over four minutes into the game. Brandt picked up two assists in the first period before she and Skarupa set up Cameranesi's second goal of the game at 1:54 of the second period.

Fellow Gopher Lee Stecklein was also in the U.S. lineup for game two while Milica McMillen was a scratch at the blue line after playing in game one.

The U.S./Canada series concludes at 11 a.m. CT Sunday at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta.

Check out highlights and tweets from game two of the U-22 series.

Softball Summer Blog #7: Kaitlyn Richardson

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Richardson.JPG Summer Blog Photo Gallery

Hello Gopher fans! I have had a fantastic summer. It has been full of family, fun, and coaching.

I left for Arizona a week after our season was over. When I got home I received many congratulations from family and friends who followed our season closely. It was amazing to see all of the support we received throughout this memorable season.  

I was lucky enough to coach for the team I played for when I was in high school. It was a special team and we had 12 seniors that are going to play at major universities this fall. Six of them are going to Big Ten schools and I even got to coach Danielle Parlich, who will be an incoming freshman this fall for us.

Although we traveled to many different cities, I only ventured to Colorado and California with the team. We did well in both tournaments and placed in the top 25 at nationals. It was interesting learning the game through a coach's standpoint.

Even though I was kept busy between practices and tournaments I was able to spend time with my family and do some traveling of my own! Within two weeks of being home, I took off to San Francisco. It was amazing! We went to a Giants game, Six Flags, Union Square, The Cliff House, Fisherman's Wharf, and Pier 39. Thanks to Tyler Walker, we knew all the good spots to go!

After I got back I really took advantage of being home with my family. One of my favorite memories was when my nephew jumped into the pool for the first time by himself! My family is a riot and anytime we are together it is sure to be fun.

Although I had an absolute blast at home, I was excited to return to campus in early August. As soon as I got back I was able to work out, volunteer, and just enjoy being around my team. There is nothing like getting back into the weight room with everyone. We are excited for the upcoming season and to get to know our new teammates September 2nd is right around the corner and we cannot wait to hit the ground running.

Thank you for reading my blog; I can't wait to see you all this season!

Previous Blogs:
Softball Summer Blog #1: Erica Meyer
Softball Summer Blog #2: Erika Smyth
Softball Summer Blog #3: Madie Eckstrom

U22 Series Game 1: USA Tops Canada, 2-1

The U.S. Women's Under-22 Select Team kicked off its three-game series against Canada with a 2-1 victory Thursday night. The U.S. received goals from Dana Trivigno and Shiann Darkangelo, and Alex Rigsby made 26 saves in the win.

Gophers Dani Cameranesi and Hannah Brandt played on the same line, and defensemen Milica McMillen and Lee Stecklein also represented the Maroon & Gold. Stecklein is serving as an assistant captain for the U22 team, joining captain Alex Carpenter and assistant captain Michelle Picard in leading the squad.

The series continues with game two at 4 p.m. CT Friday, and game three is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT Sunday at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta.

Check out game one highlights and tweets below.

What They're Saying - Aug. 22

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Who will replace Mike Henry? Meet the Gopher fullbacks (FSN)
Pirsig ready to show what he can do (Pioneer Press)
Working on the passing game (1500ESPN)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)

What They're Saying - Aug. 21

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Thompson's incredible journey continues (Star Tribune)...
...and he's gotten better at yelling (FSN)
A look at the special teams (GopherSports)
Gophers still working out linebacker depth (Pioneer Press)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Practice photos (GopherGridiron)
Cobb is on another preseason watch list (GopherSports)
Cool stuff that could be yours (GopherSports)

What They're Saying - Aug. 20

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Tight ends are a talented and deep group (GopherSports)
Chris Streveler checks in with his hometown newspaper (Northwest Herald)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Kill knows Eastern Illinois is really good (
Star Tribune)
Only four days left (GopherSports)
Derrick Wells is healthy again (
Ft. Myers News Press)
VIDEO: Leidner ready to go (
Star Tribune)
Maxx Williams could be a game-changer (
Pioneer Press)
Injury update (
Star Tribune and Pioneer Press)

College Colors Day: Fan Appreciation at MOA

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Go Gophers! TopTen
Brady Skjei
Go Gophers!

MINNEAPOLIS ( -- As part of the University of Minnesota's support for the upcoming College Colors Day, Gopher Hockey student-athletes Brady Skjei and Mike Reilly will participate in a fan appreciation autograph signing this Saturday, Aug. 23 at the Mall of America. 

The duo will greet fans and sign autographs from 1-2 p.m. CT on the first floor, Northeast Corner Concourse of the mall. 

Gopher fans are also encouraged to show their support for the University of Minnesota all next week including the official College Colors Day - Friday, Aug. 29. 

College Colors Day is a day set aside for all universities across the country to engage their fans in wearing their respective school's colors. This year, it has also become a competition where tweets & Instagram posts are being recorded, with points going to the schools. For the University of Minnesota to score points the hashtags: #CollegeColors & #SkiUMah must be used. Learn more at 

What They're Saying - Aug. 19

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Follow Golden Gopher Football:    
Check out the Gophers live (MyGopherSports)
True freshman who could play this season (Star Tribune)
A look at the linebackers (GopherSports)
Legania moves to O-line (Pioneer Press)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Cockran hoping to making his presence known (Pioneer Press)
Some #ALSIceBucketChallenge submissions from yesterday ...

USA Hockey Holds Women's National Festival

USA Hockey held its 2014 Women's National Festival last week at the Lake Placid Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. Senior Rachael Bona, junior Hannah Brandt, sophomore Dani Cameranesi, junior Milica McMillen, freshman Cara Piazza and sophomore Lee Stecklein participated in the five-day festival, which was used to select the 22-player rosters for the under-18 and 22-and-under teams to face Canada in this week's three-game series.

Day one highlights included on and off-ice strength and conditioning tests and a welcome from USA Hockey Director of Women's Hockey Reagan Carey.

Day two at the Women's National Festival included a game between Team Blue and Team White. USA Hockey shared a highlight video of the game with comments from head coach Ken Klee and select players. The highlights include goals by Hannah Brandt at the 2:30 mark and Dani Cameranesi at the 2:45 mark.

Following the festival, Brandt, Cameranesi, McMillen and Stecklein have been chosen to represent the United States as part of the 2014 U.S. Women's Under-22 Select Team. The U.S. and Canada face off in three games Thursday, Friday and Sunday this week in Calgary, Alberta, at Canada Olympic Park.

Week in Review: Preseason

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Gopher Volleyball Update (8/18/14)

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MAGIC Blog: Gophers Update (8/18/14)

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What They're Saying - Aug. 18

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Follow Golden Gopher Football:    

Gophers will sport some new helmets this season (GopherGridiron)
Check us out on Instagram (Instagram)
Claeys back in his comfort zone, molding strong defense (Star Tribune)
BTN was at practice on Friday and Saturday. Here is what they saw (BTN)
BTN crew was also Tweeting while on campus (BTN)
Come to a game (MyGopherSports)
Five things to preview the season (AP)
Sherels is living his dream (Pioneer Press)
Support Gopher football, get cool stuff (GopherSports)
Vikings bring passionate fan base to campus (Star Tribune)
NFL great helped Gophers out this summer (
Can Donovahn Jones be Minnesota's deep threat in 2014? (The Daily Gopher)
Which true freshman can play this year? (1500ESPN)
Who is the No. 2 running back? (Pioneer Press)
Watch out for these guys (KFAN and KFAN)
Cobb is the man to begin the season, but Gophers have depth at running back (1500ESPN)
Q&A with Ryan Santoso (Star Tribune)
A look at the backs (GopherSports)
Cockran looking forward to taking another step forward in 2014 (FSN)
Elmore moves to defense, while Legania moves to offense (Pioneer Press and Star Tribune)

What They're Saying - Aug. 15

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Brick by Brick: Season 2, Episode 1 debuted last night (GopherSports)
Running backs, tight ends competing for No. 2 spots (Pioneer Press)
Who caught TD passes (Star Tribune) in yesterday's scrimmage? (Pioneer Press)
Scrimmage photos (GopherGridiron)
Don't forget about Donnell (Star Tribune)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Five things to know about the Gophers (Associated Press)
Find tickets for the Aug. 28 opener (MyGopherSports), and ride Metro Transit there for free (GopherSports)
These items could be yours (GopherSports)

David Cobb's autograph will soon be on this bus:

Softball Summer Blog #6: Sydney Fabian

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 Summer Blog Photo Gallery

My summer has been one for the books. The excitement of summer began almost immediately after the excitement of season ended. About a week after our super regional appearance I got on a plane and headed to Vietnam.  

I was blessed to work with a program for student-athletes called Coach For College. The purpose of the program is to promote higher education through sport. I taught baseball and English to sixth and seventh graders in rural Vietnam. We taught young people the various skills you can learn from sports, and how they can apply those skills to learning and continuing their education passed middle school and even high school. 

In Vietnam it is not uncommon for kids to stop their education after middle school due to the exams to get into high school and university being too tough to pass. I learned so much through my experience with Coach for College. Being able to travel to the other side of the world is a remarkable and life-changing experience and I encourage everyone, if they have the opportunity, to do it.

After my return from Vietnam, I headed straight to campus so I could reunite with my team and we could start our various summer adventures. I spent a lot of time at my roommate Paige's cabin. There, we enjoyed swimming, water tubing, water sports, and relaxing in the sun. Paige and I agree that her cabin is the greatest place on earth (refer back to Paige's blog). 

Along with the cabin, I have volunteered for the MAC center, gone to numerous Twins games and concerts, and have spent time at my house hanging out with my family. I also have a part time job working at a bakery where I deliver and set up wedding cakes. It's a very fun job and I have yet to drop a cake...knock on wood. 

To end the summer, you can find me at the State Fair working in the Fresh French Fries booth. I have great friends at the booth and it will be a great finish to a great summer! Thanks for taking the time to read about my summer, I hope all of yours are going as well as mine! 

Go Gophers! 

Previous Blogs:
Softball Summer Blog #1: Erica Meyer
Softball Summer Blog #2: Erika Smyth
Softball Summer Blog #3: Madie Eckstrom

Sara's Summer in the Pros:
Entry #1

What They're Saying - Aug. 14

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Follow Golden Gopher Football:    
Trio of defensive lineman has started 67 career games (GopherSports)
A look at the defensive tackles (Pioneer Press)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Santoso has a big leg (FSN)
Best deal you will find all day (GopherSports)
Mitch Leidner has a fan in Blue Earth, Minn. (Reusse)
Coming to the Aug. 28 home opener? Take Metro Tranist for free! (GopherSports)
Best case/worst case scenarios (
Minnesota looking to take the next step (AP)
Find out what makes Mitch Leidner tick (GopherSports)
Opponent previews (The Daily Gopher)
Eric Decker went searching on the Internet (New York Post)

Carlson's Corner: Welcome to a New Season

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It's almost that time again when we will have 750 Gopher student athletes strolling the halls of the Bierman Building, freshmen wandering nervously around campus trying to find their next class and Gopher Golf will be back for another season as defending Big Ten Champions.  This title carries an added pressure to build off of a tremendous 2013-14 season, but also it allows our players to feel an even bigger sense of pride when they strap the Maroon and Gold golf bag on their backs each round.

A new season brings new faces and in this blog I want to introduce the 10 players that will be teeing it up at Windsong Farm Golf Club on Sept. 7-8 in the Gopher Invitational.  With the new season, we say farewell to three great seniors:  Jon Trasamar, Alex Gaugert and Genki Hirayama.  In contrast to the previous season, our 2014-15 squad is young with one senior and one junior returning.  Here is the breakdown of this year's roster:

·        Tyler Lowenstein- Ty is a senior from Wayzata High School in Minnesota that has been a steady contributor to the recent success of Gopher Golf.  Ty is extremely creative (instrumental in design of the School of Engineering's Holiday Light Show), likes to work his golf ball from right to left on the course and will be relied upon for leadership this year.

Go Gophers! Tyler Lowenstein
Go Gophers!
Tyler Lowenstein is the only senior on the 2014-15 roster.
Go Gophers!

·        Jon DuToit- Dutes is a junior from Chaska High School in Minnesota and comes in having played all but two events in the previous season as a starter.  Jon loves to tinker with the technology in equipment (2nd Swing's prodigy), has gained 30 yards on his tee ball in two years and recently competed in the US Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club.

·        Jose Mendez- Jose hails from San Jose, Costa Rica, and will be starting his sophomore season for the Gophers.  A loyal Titleist player, Jose loves futbol and is the defending Big Ten Individual champion.

·        Grady Meyer-In his sophomore season after graduating from Fargo Shanley High School in North Dakota, Grady keeps things light in practice.  He may be seen dancing, talking, eating large amounts of candy but always working to improve the mechanics of his swing.  He will tell you that he can guard anyone on the basketball court and may make himself eligible in three years for the NFL draft as a lockdown cornerback.

·        Matt Rachey- Matt is also in his second year coming out of Waconia High School in Minnesota.  Rach is like having another coach in the huddle.  His determination and class is contagious as he was named Louis Lick "Hardest Worker" in 2013-14.  Posture adjustments and a switch in irons have him poised to vie for the top spot in the lineup this year.

·        Daniel Luftspring-Oh Canada!  Dan is a sophomore coming from the Core Academy in Orlando, Fla.  Not far from the accolades of a Rhodes Scholar, Dan loves to hypothesize and ask questions about anything.  These qualities of a master debater also have allowed him to make big strides since he first step foot on campus.  Only a couple of strokes kept him out of the lineup through qualifying last year and should prove as motivation for the upcoming season.

·        William Leaf-Will transferred back to his home state from SIU-Edwardsville this season after graduating from Winona High School.  Competitive, skilled, motivated and hungry are all adjectives that sum up Mr. Leaf.  There won't be much of a transition period for Will as he has already had success at the Division I level.  I will never shy away from expectations as I strongly believe all elite athletes expect to win and Will can be great.

To be a freshman in college again...

·        Riley Johnson-Another North Dakota Boy...A Packer from West Fargo HS, Riley compiled one of the greatest high school records since Andy Doeden, David Schultz and Tom Hoge.  As a two-time North Dakota State Individual champion, he has more passion for the game than most.  Riley will be the second sibling in the Johnson family to be a Gopher as his brother Payton currently is enrolled at the U.

·        Runar Arnorsson-As a top player in Iceland for the last six years, Runar makes his trip across the pond to America as a 22-year-old freshman.  His mature game, having been tested in many international competitions, should make him a starter immediately in the Big Ten.

·        Charlie Duensing-By way of Sandy, Utah, Charlie has spent many summers in Minnesota, as his grandparents live in Detroit Lakes.  As one of Ping's top junior players, the transition to college golf and academics will be seamless for Charlie.  Competitive and passionate are two words that best sum up Charlie Duensing.

While the players have been busy working hard on their games this summer, our coaching staff has been carrying the heavy load of tournament preparation for the 2014 Gopher Invitational.  Months of planning, scheduling the teams' arrival and course setup has been made slightly easier this year thanks to the help of newly appointed Co-Tournament Director, Keith Rachey.  Keith is the father of Matt Rachey and has completely transformed our donor support for the event.  His detail and creativity will be seen for many years to come as we continue to improve the college golf tournament environment with exciting changes being implemented. 

Come watch or volunteer at the Gopher Invitational at Windsong Farm GC Sept. 7-8.  We will play 36 holes on Sunday starting at 8:05 am continuing all day. Tee times on Monday are set between 7:30-9:30 am, depending on Day 1 scoring.  It is free to spectators and if you choose to volunteer, our Gopher Invitational tournament committee will provide each volunteer with a free golf shirt and golf hat, in addition to lifelong memories of seeing future PGA Tour stars compete in college.  Email Jo Rider, Administrative Specialist to Gopher Golf, at if you would like to volunteer.

In closing, I always end my blogs with "Fairways, Fairways, Fairways" and the story behind this goes deep into my values in recruiting, competing and player development.  College golf has changed in the last 20 years.  Golf courses on campus are not being used for tournament competition nearly as often and they have been replaced in the rotation by modern and historic venues demanding accuracy off the tee.  I only recruit players with total confidence with the driver and demand that our current players find the short grass more regularly.  In tracking our fairways hit, along with GIR from the fairway vs. the rough, using Birdie Fire Statistical Software, it is staggering how much we have improved in this category as a team.  Thus, I will continue to preach this with Gopher Golf and clearly we are on our way to more Big Ten Championships.

Fairways, Fairways, Fairways!

John Carlson

What They're Saying - Aug. 13

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Defensive backs are a talented and deep group, but nobody knows it (Pioneer Press)
Secondary out to prove the doubters wrong (1500ESPN)
Bargain hunting (GopherSports)
What Gophers have impressed Coach Kill? (Star Tribune)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Get Berkley the ball in space (FSN)
Breaking down Minnesota's schedule (Star Tribune)
Minnesota season preview (ESPN)
Gophers help make up best positions in the Big Ten (ESPN)

What They're Saying - Aug. 12

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Berkley Edwards (and other notes) putting in work after practice... (Star Tribune)
...and says he isn't the fastest Gopher on the team (Pioneer Press)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Practice photos! (GopherGridiron)
Previewing the wide receivers (GopherSports)
Analyzing the roster (FSN)
A look at TCU (TheDailyGopher)
If you like a good deal, then you will like this (GopherSports)
The Voice of the Gophers - Mike Grimm - on the radio previewing the season (KATE)

All Access: Stollings' First Pitch

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University of Minnesota head women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings was able to live out one of her life-long dreams when she was asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Minnesota Twins game on Sept. 6. Go behind the scenes with Coach Marlene leading up to the pitch and as she steps on the mound at Target Field. 

Summer Roundup: Aug. 11

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Major Leagues

*Glen Perkins made three appearances last week and earned one save for the Twins.
*Jack Hannahan played in two games for the Reds last week.

Minor Leagues  
*Mike Kvasnicka (Double-A New Britain) had a 3-for-4 game with a run, two doubles and two RBIs on Saturday. Nate Hanson, back with the Rock Cats, hit a pair of doubles last week. Kyle Knudson went 2-for-3 on Sunday.
*Seth Rosin (Reading Fightin Phils, Double-A) made three scoreless appearances in relief last week. He has a 2.70 ERA in his last 10 games.
*Tom Windle (Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga Quakes) made two starts last week, pitching five shutout innings in the first one. His season ERA is 4.34.
*DJ Snelten is now pitching for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Class A Short Season).
*Alec Crawford (Rookie Grand Junction Rockies) pitched three times last week and has a 1.42 ERA in 18 games.

Northwoods League
*Dalton Sawyer (St. Cloud Rox) closed out the first game of the Big League Dreams Showcase for the North last Tuesday.
*Jordan Smith went 3-for-4 with a double last Wednesday for the Rochester Honkers.
*Michael Handel (Madison Mallards) walked nine times during the week.

*Lance Thonvold finished the season with five saves for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (Cape Cod League).
*Jeff Fasching's Legion team made it to the Minnesota State Legion Tournament championship last Monday after defeating Luke Pettersen's team earlier in the day. Fasching received the Fred Wannamaker Award as the tournament's most outstanding player.
*A good time was had by all at the Golden Era of Gopher Baseball reunion
*Pitching coach Todd Oakes helped women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings get ready to throw out the first pitch at a Twins game. 
*Registration for the Dan Morgan Open ends today. Sign up here.

Summer Roundup Archives
August 4
July 28
July 21
July 14
July 7
June 30
June 23
June 16
June 9

What They're Saying - Aug. 11

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Projecting a defensive depth chart (1500ESPN)
Like cool Gopher stuff? Then check this out (GopherSports)
Scrimmage photos! (GopherGridiron)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
A healthy Derrick Wells could lead to more big plays (Pioneer Press)
These guys got the inside look (GopherSports)
Camp is a grind (Star Tribune)
Come to a game (MyGopherSports)
Some behind the scenes stuff (Instagram)
It's back (GopherSports)
New look to the equipment room...

Great to have Special Olympics Minnesota at the scrimmage on Saturday! Thanks for taking the time!

2014 Gopher Volleyball Season Begins

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The Golden Gopher volleyball team kicked off the 2014 campaign today, as it held the first practice of the season. Practicing for three hours this afternoon, the Gophers finished off the practice with a little six-on-six action.

Check out the photo gallery for a closer look at today's practice.

What They're Saying - Aug. 9

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Donovahn Jones checks in with his hometown paper (Henry Daily Herald)
Husker fan - and journalist - converts to the Gophers (Henry Daily Herald)
Gophers digs impressed Penn State alum and current Viking (Star Tribune)
Locker room video (GopherGridiron)
APMVP on TCF: "I know the locker room's awesome" (Pioneer Press)
A look at the secondary (GopherSports)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Five things to watch in today scrimmage (Pioneer Press)
Come see the Gophers live (MyGopherSports)
Zimmer and Cassel both impressed with TCF Bank Stadium (Pioneer Press)
Get a personalized helmet, indoor club room tickets and more at affordable prices! (GopherSports)
Why Connor Mayes is playing guard (Star Tribune)
Wolitarsky is motivated (Santa Clarita Valley Signal)
Alum Aaron Hill talked about playing in his first NFL game, which was yesterday (
A look at MTSU (TheDailyGopher)
Defense giving the offense all it can handle in practice (Star Tribune)

What They're Saying - Aug. 8

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Fall camp notes from Marcus (Pioneer Press)
Joe C talks about the Gophers' practices so far (Star Tribune)
Notes from Thursday's media session (Star Tribune)
Practice 7 photos (GopherGridiron)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Bid on Goal Line Club auction items (GopherSports)
Former Gopher Brock Vereen will face his brother in the NFL this season (Chicago Football)

Kyle Rau Twitter Q&A Rewind

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In case you missed it, Gopher Hockey senior forward Kyle Rau joined us for a Twitter Q&A on Thursday afternoon in the Mariucci Arena locker room. Check out the highlights. 

Hoops Scramble Rewind

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Photo Gallery

The Minnesota Women's Basketball Hoops Scramble golf event proved once again to be a huge success in its 12th year.  The event, which is the Fast Break Club's largest annual fundraiser, attracted nearly 100 golfers to Oak Marsh Golf Course in Oakdale, Minn., and raised nearly $50,000 to benefit the Golden Gopher women's basketball team.

Auctions brought in a large portion of the funds raised, while sponsors, paid golfers and diners were the other main contributors to the total.

Silent and live auction items included dinner with head coach Marlene Stollings and her staff, a trip for two to an away game with team, an invitation for 10 to an exclusive team BBQ, dinner and date nights around the Twin Cities and official team apparel, among many additional items.

Current Minnesota women's basketball staff and team members participated in the event, mingling with golfers, sponsors, volunteers, players and staff. 

What They're Saying - Aug. 7

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A look at the QBs heading into the season (GopherSports)
Campbell paid his dues in junior college (FSN)
Win an auction, help the Gopher football team (GopherSports)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Practice pictures (GopherGridiron)
Claeys believes in the defense (Sid)
Gophers are well into fall camp (Minnesota Daily)
Buy some football tickets (MyGopherSports)
More Mitch (1500ESPN)
The men behind Mitch (Star Tribune) bring different strengths (Pioneer Press)
That's pretty fast (Pioneer Press)
Looking at the WRs (TheDailyGopher) and RBs (TheDailyGopher)
TCF Bank Stadium is ready to go (Pioneer Press)

What They're Saying - Aug. 6

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Gopher Football Tickets

Wolitarsky is "just plain driven" (Signal Sports)
Gophers use cutting edge technology to stay on track (Pioneer Press)
Young receivers look to step up (Star Tribune)
De'Vondre Campbell gets specific when asked to list his weight (Star Tribune)
Practice 5 photo gallery (Gopher Gridiron)
Big Ten still focused on the run game (Minnesota Daily)
Tidbits from the first five days of practice (Minnesota Daily)
Going once...going twice...sold! Goal Line Club online auction is underway (GopherSports)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)

Sara's Summer in the Pros: Entry #4

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Sara Moulton, a senior on the Minnesota softball team in 2014, left the Gophers as one of the most decorated players in program history after helping lead to the team to its first Big Ten Tournament title in 15 years, as well as its first-ever NCAA super regional appearance. Upon completion of her collegiate career, the Eagan, Minn. native signed on to play professionally with the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch league. The Bandits selected Moulton with the fifth overall pick in the NPF Collegiate Draft in March. Throughout the summer, Moulton will document her first season in the professional ranks.

 Updated Photo Gallery | Entry #1 | Entry #2 | Entry #3

Bandits at Soldier Field

A lot has happened since my last blog post, so I have decided to recap the last month or so. One month ago from today on July 1, I joined several of my teammates at the center of Soldier Field to watch the USA Soccer game on the big screen surrounded by thousands of diehard soccer fans. Even though I wouldn't consider myself to be a huge soccer fan, everyone becomes a fan during the World Cup. We had a blast watching the game and getting to stand on Soldier Field was an incredible experience.

Next came the Fourth of July! A bunch of my teammates and I went to dinner at Jenna Grim's house. Jenna is from a small town and on the Fourth of July every year, her town puts on a carnival and a fireworks show. After a delicious dinner and some intense games of corn hole, we headed to the carnival. The carnival had a live band and lots of food and rides. We ended up watching the fireworks on a baseball field which just felt fitting for us.

In mid-July we traveled to St. Louis for another "Battle of the Sexes" game. This time we took on the men's Frontier League All Stars. Even though they put their best men on the field, the boys once again came up short and only managed to get one hit against the Bandit pitching staff. The Bandits scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on a throwing error at the plate. Victory never tasted so sweet!

After our trip to St. Louis, we traveled back to Chicago and played against the Netherlands' softball team. This was the first time I had ever pitched/played against an international team. The girls on Team Netherlands were talented and a lot of fun to play against. The Bandits ended up taking both games, and overall it was a great experience.

The day after defeating the Netherlands, we headed to Orlando, Fla. to begin a 13-day, 10-game road trip. Florida at this time during the year brought humidity, a lot of rain, and three losses to the USSSA Pride. We even got to make our first TV game appearance on CBS Sports Network. There were some familiar Minnesota teams in the crowd to watch. Even though our games didn't go the way we wanted them to, we still managed to have fun while we were there. The outlet stores, particularly Nike and Lulu Lemon, stole most of my money, but it was worth it!

After spending five sweaty days in Florida, we headed to Pennsylvania to take on the Rebellion in a six-game, six-day match up. Pennsylvania was a lot different than Florida temperature wise, but we seemed to have brought the rain from Florida with us for the first few days we were there. After several games with rain and lightning delays, we somehow managed to get all of our games in! We came out on top and clinched the series with the Rebellion with a record of 4-2.

So what's next you ask? We are heading into the home stretch! August is going to fly by. The first weekend in August we have a home series against the USSSA Pride. We played our first game against the Pride last night and got the W. The first game was important to us because it was Les Turner's ALS Foundation night and we got to wear custom Bandit jerseys, which were auctioned off during the game. 

Also this weekend, Jennie Finch will be coming to a game and throwing out the first pitch. I can't wait to meet her seeing as she has been one of my biggest softball idols since I started playing. After this weekend we only have eight games left before playoffs.

We head back to Pennsylvania next week for a four-game match up with the Rebellion and the following week we take on Akron at home. After that, it's playoff time! We will be traveling to Hoover, Ala. for a week of playoffs and hopefully a championship! After our week in Alabama, I will be heading home! It's crazy how fast the summer has gone but we still have a lot of softball left to play and some unfinished business! Go Bandits! 

What They're Saying - Aug. 5

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It all begins up front (GopherSports)
Some great items in the Goal Line Club Auction (GopherSports)
Kill talks about honoring Bob McNamara (Star Tribune)
Day 4 in photos (GopherGridiron)
More Leidner leadership, plus a chinstrap reference (CSNChicago)
The greatest individual season by a Gopher is... (
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Offensive line looks to be versatile (FSN)
A look at Eastern Illinois (The Daily Gopher)
Gophers fourth practice got a little intense (Star Tribune)
Anyanwu lost to knee injury (Pioneer Press and FSN)
Cobb doesn't want any regrets (Star Tribune)

Holl Signs With AHL's Rockford IceHogs

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MINNEAPOLIS ( -- Gopher Hockey alum Justin Holl has agreed to terms with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League, the organization announced on Monday. The IceHogs are the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, who drafted Holl in the second round (54th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. 

The Tonka Bay, Minn., native was a four-year letter winner for the Gophers and helped the Maroon & Gold to a pair of NCAA Frozen Four appearances as well as three-straight regular-season conference championships (a first for the program). The defenseman skated in 142 career games for Minnesota and ended his career with 38 points (eight goals, 30 assists). 

Holl's last point for the Gophers will go down as one of the program's top plays in the team's 92-year history. With the Gophers tied 1-1 with North Dakota in the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal, the senior sent Minnesota to the national championship game when he scored the deciding goal -- a shorthanded one at that -- with 0.6 seconds left in regulation. Moreover, it was his first and only goal of the season after tallying 12 assists heading into the Frozen Four. 

Gopher Volleyball Update (8/4/14)

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Hoops Scramble Silent Auction is Live

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Hoops Scramble XII Save the Date

August 4, 2014

The silent auction is now live for the 12th Annual Golden Gopher Women's Basketball Hoops Scramble Golf Tournament, which will be held today at Oak Marsh Golf Course in Oakdale, Minn. The event is the Fast Break Club's biggest annual fundraising event and supports the University of Minnesota women's basketball program. 

New this year, even Gopher fans not able to attend the golf outing have the opportunity to bid on great items from the silent auction from your computer, tablet or phone by clicking here and registering for the auction. Then you can bid on all of the items available.

Head coach Marlene Stollings and her staff, as well as select players, will be on hand for the event, which includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, dinner, a program and an auction. 

The golf scramble is set to begin at 12:00 p.m., with dinner to follow at approximately 5:30 p.m. A silent auction will begin at 11:00 a.m. in conjunction with registration, while a live auction is set to correlate with the start of dinner.

Auction items could include exclusive trips with the team and VIP access to Stollings and/or her staff.


Summer Roundup: Aug. 4

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Major Leagues
*Glen Perkins earned two saves for the Twins last week. His ERA is 2.72 on the season and he has 27 saves.
*Jack Hannahan has played in three more games with the Reds since his season debut on July 27. He is still looking for his first Major League hit of 2014.

Minor Leagues  
*Mike Kvasnicka (Double-A New Britain) picked up four hits last week, including a three-run homer on July 31.
*Seth Rosin (Reading Fightin Phils, Double-A) made three appearanes, two of them scoreless.
*Tom Windle (Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga Quakes) gave up one run and struck out two batters in a seven-inning start July 31.
*Alec Crawford (Rookie Grand Junction Rockies) has a 1.10 ERA after three shutout innings of relief over three games last week. He struck out two in a July 30 appearance.

Northwoods League
*Michael Handel (Madison Mallards) hit 8-for-25 last week, including a 3-for-5, two-RBI effort against the Woodchucks on Tuesday.
*Jordan Smith (Rochester Honkers) hit 4-for-5 with three runs, a double and an RBI on July 31, then went 2-for-4 with a run and a double the next day.
*Connor Schaefbauer (Rochester) was added to the NWL's Big League Dreams Showcase roster. The Mallards will host the showcase on Tuesday.

*Toby Hanson (Delano) hit 14 home runs in two runs to win the home run derby at the state Legion tournament. Hanson, Jeff Fasching (St. Cloud Chutes) and Luke Pettersen (Excelsior) all made the state tournament. Fasching and Pettersen's teams face off Monday for third place or a chance to play in the championship.
*Gopher Sports Update's interview with head coach John Anderson aired last week. You can listen here.
*Click the links for more information about Siebert Field Fall Instructional Camp and the Dan Morgan Golf Open (Aug. 18).

Summer Roundup Archives
July 28
July 21
July 14
July 7
June 30
June 23
June 16
June 9

What They're Saying - Aug. 4

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Boys of Fall Elite Camp was a memorable experience for fans (GopherSports)
Joe C's notebook from Minnesota's third practice (Star Tribune)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Practice three in photos (GopherGridiron and Star Tribune)
Sophomore receivers taking on leadership role (FSN)
KFAN's Cake Show broadcasted live from Sunday's practice (KFAN)
Kill checks in at No. 25 (Yahoo Sports)
Cobb looking for a memorable season (Pioneer Press)

What They're Saying - Aug. 3

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Leidner is the Boss (Star Tribune)
Stellar secondary (FSN)
We are all thinking about Duke and wishing him well (Star Tribune)
The third and final (for the immediate future) Olson to wear No. 58 (Pioneer Press)
Day 2 in pictures (

What They're Saying - Aug. 2

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Quick recap, photos and honoring the late Bob McNamara (GopherSports)
Camp Audio: Kill l Leidner l Campion l M. Williams 
Where will Josh Campion end up? (Pioneer Press)
Gophers boast big tight ends (Star Tribune)
Complete camp schedule (GopherSports)
Minnesota relying on strong defense (Scoggins)
Leidner is clear leader for Maroon and Gold (FSN)
More pretty pictures (Star Tribune)

What They're Saying - Aug. 1

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Fall camp practice schedule (GopherSports)
Gophers are not lacking leaders (Star Tribune)
Cobb embraces role (Minnesota Daily)
Here we go (The Daily Gopher)
Position previews (FSN)
A look at the running back (The Daily Gopher)
Kill wants Gophers starving (CSNChicago)
Watch Lists: Cobb l Olson l Mortell l M. Williams
Gophers jump into professional development (GopherSports)
Kill encouraged as Gophers open camp (Sid)
Gophers looking to build on success (Bring Me The News)
Five things to look for as camp opens (WCCO and Pioneer Press)
Leidner worked out with NFL players this summer (FSN)
Kill brimming with confidence (PennLive)
Mortell has lofty goals this year (Green Bay Press Gazette)
Kill on the rise (Yahoo! slide seven)
Leidner sees passing game improving (Pioneer Press)
Gophers looking to make strides (Chicago Tribune)
Leidner is the guy in charge (Detroit News)
MSU's Dantonio likes Gophers (Star Tribune)
Photo day fun (GopherSports)

Softball Summer Blog #5: Hannah Melick

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melick2.png Summer Blog Photo Gallery

Hey Gopher fans! This summer has sure been one for the books for me. After an amazing season, I returned back home to Washington to spend some time with my family. It was nice relaxing, spending quality time with my parents, spending time with my dog, and of course having a home cooked meal every night. It too quickly came to an end because summer classes were starting. 

I couldn't wait to get back to campus to start working out with my teammates and Coach Y again. You just don't get the same satisfaction working out alone at home than you do grinding out a circuit with your teammates--or hitting buckets upon buckets of balls out at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium on a gorgeous sunny morning. 

I took three classes this summer, which is a pretty big load for summer term, so I have been very busy with school. I took my second year of American Sign Language--it is by far my favorite class on campus. I also took Abnormal Psychology and Psychology Research Methods, which are always more interesting to me than any math or science classes. Two of my classes have now come to an end so I have more time to do other cool things, rather than stressing about school all the time.

Coach Merchant got called out to do the Chillin 4 Charity challenge and a couple of us girls got asked to be the ones to dump water on her. I will never pass up the opportunity to dump freezing ice water on Coach, especially when it was for such a great cause.  

A lot of us have been volunteering and I got the chance to go to and elementary school to play with kids one day. I think I actually had more fun than the kids did. Anissa Lightner is awesome and always provides volunteering options multiple times a week, so you always have the opportunity to go if you would like. 

Nothing will beat taking the field with my team everyday, but it is nice to be able to have so much time to do other things with them during the summer. For example, a couple of us went out to Erica Meyer's house for the Fourth of July and had a blast. We went tubing, fishing, made burgers, and had a bonfire to watch an awesome firework show at the end of the day. Erica really knows how to whip you off the inner tube. Other things we have done are: rollerbladed around Lake Calhoun, floated down the Apple River, seen Minnehaha Falls, walked to the Stone Arch Bridge, and gone to Twins games. 

This summer has been awesome. Our team is putting in so much work and we are all incredibly excited to start back up in a month when all the newcomers get on campus. It's thrilling to know that everyone is getting better in the offseason so that we pick back up better than where we ended. I know the incoming class is bringing in a lot of good talent, which will only boost us further than where we made it last season.  Can't wait to see you all at our pre-season games in the fall!

Previous Blogs:
Softball Summer Blog #1: Erica Meyer
Softball Summer Blog #2: Erika Smyth
Softball Summer Blog #3: Madie Eckstrom


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