Volleyball Announces 2014 Spring Schedule

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The University of Minnesota volleyball team has announced its spring schedule as it competes the entire month of April.

The Gophers kick off their spring schedule in a border battle with Wisconsin, Sunday, April 6 in Madison, Wis. at 2 p.m. Minnesota then travels to Cedar Falls, Iowa and competes at Northern Iowa, Saturday, April 12. The Gophers will compete against host UNI, Iowa State, Iowa, South Dakota State, North Dakota and North Dakota State. Play will get underway at 9 a.m. on four courts and admission is free.

Minnesota will then host a spring tournament on Saturday, April 26 at the Sports Pavilion and Williams Arena. Minnesota welcomes North Dakota State, South Dakota, Concordia-St. Paul, Minnesota Duluth, Northern Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota-Crookston.Times of the tournament are to be determined.

2014 Gopher Spring Volleyball Schedule
April 6: at Wisconsin (2 p.m. in Madison, Wis., UW Fieldhouse)
April 12: at Northern Iowa (begins at 9 a.m., in Cedar Falls, Iowa, UNI Wellness/Recreations Center)
April 26: Gophers Hosting NDSU, USD, CSP, UMD, UNI, UW, MN-Crookston (times TBD, Sports Pavilion/Williams Arena)

2014 McCutcheon Camp Registration Open

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McCutcheon Camp and Registration Information

Hugh McCutcheon is holding his annual volleyball camps, July 7-19, held at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse. Both overnight and day camps are available throughout the camp sessions.

A variety of eight camps will be held, starting with the All Positions College Prep Camp, July 7-10. New to this year is the Boys All Skills Camp, also July 7-10. Events continue the next week with setting, attack and libero camps (July 11-13), followed by two all skills camps (July 13-15 and 15-17). Also new to this year's McCutcheon Volleyball Camps is a kindergarten through eighth grade Volley School (July 14-15 and July 16-17). The last camp scheduled July 18 and July 19, is geared towards Varsity and Junior Varsity athletes as they prepare for their high school training competition season.

Last year, a total of 350 campers visited campus and were split up into different locations. The University of Minnesota Field House will be this year's sole site for McCutcheon Volleyball Camps. With up to 14 sport courts and net systems, the Field House will accommodate all campers in one location. Overnight campers in our College Prep Camp and our Team Camps will stay in Territorial Residence Hall on the Super Block in the hear t of the U of M campus.

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Gopher Volleyball Participates in USA Volleyball Tryout

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The University of Minnesota volleyball team was well represented at the 2014 USA Volleyball Tryouts, held Feb. 21-23 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Five of the Gophers flew out of Minneapolis/St. Paul earlier on Friday, while Adrianna Nora flew out later in the day, due to class schedule. Four of the Gophers returned on Sunday night, followed by two on Monday morning, Feb. 24.

The Gophers were six among a record-number 248 athletes that competed at the event. The University of Minnesota was one of 106 schools represented as all were trying to make a spot on the United States National Team. Individuals who do not make the U.S. National Team, have a chance to make the Collegiate National Team, formerly called the Senior A2 Team. Three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Karch Kiraly and the U.S. Women's National Team staff led the tryout process.

"It was amazing to compete at such a high level all weekend with a gym full of talented athletes," Gopher outside hitter Sarah Wilhite said. 

Selected athletes will be notified by early March. USA Volleyball will announce the selections by the end of March once all roster spots are accepted and confirmed. USA Volleyball will have one U.S. Collegiate National Team of 12 athletes and two coaches travel to China June 13-27, 2014, for a series of training sessions and matches in conjunction with a separate team representing the PAC 12 Conference.

The second option for the selected U.S. Collegiate National Team is training and participation at the 2014 USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships (GJNC) held in Minneapolis. A projected 36 athletes will be invited to participate in the program with training beginning on June 22, 2014, followed by the competition portion June 26-30. U.S. Collegiate National Teams will compete against each other while serving as inspiration for junior athletes competing in the GJNC on what the next level of competition is like in college.

I had a blast at tryouts," Hannah Tapp said. "It was amazing just to be playing around so many great players. One of my favorite parts was getting to play on the same side of the net as the others in the B1G! I got to know some really great girls that I'm excited to face next year in season. Overall I had an incredible time competing at such a high level and will be able to take away many things in just this short weekend in Colorado Springs."

Gopher Connections Set to Compete in USA Open Tryouts

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The University of Minnesota will be well represented as six student-athletes head to Colorado Springs, Colo., to compete at the USA Women's National Team Open Tryout, Feb. 21-23. Held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (OTC), the Gopher contingent consists of Erica Handley, Adrianna Nora, Katie Schau, Hannah Tapp, Paige Tapp and Sarah Wilhite.

The tryouts begin on Friday, Feb. 21 until 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 23. The process will be used primarily to identify prospective athletes for the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team. Athletes not invited to participate with the National Team may be invited to attend a second tryout as part of the U.S. Collegiate National Teams program (formerly U.S. Women's Senior A2 Teams).

USA Volleyball will have one U.S. Collegiate National Team of 12 athletes and two coaches travel to China June 13-27, 2014, for a series of training sessions and matches in conjunction with a separate team representing the PAC 12 Conference.

The second option for the selected U.S. Collegiate National Team is training and participation at the 2014 USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships (GJNC) held in Minneapolis. A projected 36 athletes will be invited to participate in the program with training beginning on June 22, 2014, followed by the competition portion June 26-30. U.S. Collegiate National Teams will compete against each other while serving as inspiration for junior athletes competing in the GJNC on what the next level of competition is like in college.

Good luck to all Gopher participants!

 

McCutcheon Continues Stint With FIVB Committee

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Although the Gopher volleyball program is in between the fall and spring seasons, head coach Hugh McCutcheon is busy within the volleyball world.

McCutcheon travels to Lausanne, Switzerland this week, serving his second year of a four-year term on the FIVB Coaching Commission. As a part of their annual meetings, FIVB gathers together 11 groups, which began Jan. 22. The coaching commission meetings start Jan. 28.

As the secretary of the coaching commission, McCutcheon is the only United States coach represented on 12-person panel. Nominated by USA Volleyball and NORECA, McCutcheon represents USA Volleyball, while other individuals and zones travel yearly from Russia, Brazil, Poland, Japan and France, to name a few. The coaching commission discusses modifications and improvements to the international game.

McCutcheon came to Minnesota after an illustrious 11-year career with USA Volleyball as he earned two medals with the United States Men's and Women's Olympic teams. McCutcheon mentored the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team to a 106-39 record in his four years after leading the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team program to the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal. Counting his 107-33 record leading the U.S. Men's program from 2005 to 2008, McCutcheon held a combined record of 213-72 with USA Volleyball.

Gopher volleyball will report for the spring season in March as spring competition will be held in April. The spring schedule will be announced in the near future.

Gopher Volleyball Set to Host Season Banquet

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The University of Minnesota volleyball and the Point U! Booster Club will hold its annual banquet, Sunday, Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. The event will be held on the U of M campus in TCF Bank Stadium's Indoor Club Room.

Minnesota will announce its letterwinners and team awards at that time as well celebrating a Sweet 16 berth in the 2013 season. Tickets and reservations should be made through the Point U! website, which is located here.

McCutcheon, Bush Set to Speak at Coaches' Clinic

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Although the Gopher volleyball team is in between the championship and spring seasons, the coaches never rest. Along with the responsibilities all coaches have, two on the Gopher staff will be speaking at a local clinic, Saturday, Jan. 18.

Head coach Hugh McCutcheon and associate head coach Laura Bush will be two of six coaches speaking at the North Country Region Coaching Clinic at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. The clinic, which draws in volleyball coaches throughout the entire north region, will begin at 8:30 a.m. McCutcheon and Bush will each speak for 50 minutes, with time for questions and answers. Approximately 100 coaches will be in attendance.

Gopher Volleyball begins its spring season in March and welcomes newest member Erica Handley as she joins the team this semester. Handley, who played high school volleyball both at Win-E-Mac (McIntosh, Minn.) and Lakeville North (Lakeville, Minn.) transferred to Minnesota after a year at Syracuse. 

Note-McCutcheon Volleyball Camp will host its College Prep Camp July 7-10th. Details & registration at by Feb. 1st. 

Dixon, Wittman Sign Pro Contracts

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Although their collegiate careers may be finished, Tori Dixon and Ashley Wittman will continue their volleyball careers, beginning as early as January 2014. Both have signed contracts for the remainder of this season as the duo will compete professionally.

Dixon signed a contract with Rabita Baku as she will play in Azerbaijan for the next two and a half years. Dixon, a middle blocker, follows former Gopher middle blocker, Lauren Gibbemeyer, who also plays in Azerbaijan for Lokomotiv Baku.

Wittman leaves January 2 and will compete for four months in Puerto Rico. The outside hitter signed a contract with Indias de Mayaguez for the rest of the season and joins Northwestern standout Stephanie Holthus. Former Gopher Katherine Harms is also playing professionally as she plays in Italy for Agil Novara.

The Dixon/Wittman duo capped off their collegiate careers with a pair of All-America honors. Dixon a First Team All-American, finished her college career ranking fifth all time in total blocks (507), the best career hitting percentage (.369) and ninth all-time in career kills (1,479). Wittman, a Second Team All-American, ranks sixth in Minnesota history in career kills (1,778) and fourth in career digs (1,510).

Gophers in the First and Second Round

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The University of Minnesota is preparing for its 19th NCAA Tournament appearance this week as it host the First and Second Rounds, Dec. 6-7 at the Sports Pavilion. Minnesota takes on Radford, Friday at 7 p.m. Iowa State and Colorado also join the Gophers in tournament competition and play at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets for the event can be purchased here

As we prepare for the NCAA Tourney, here's a look back and one of the most recent memories in 2011. Trailing 0-2, Minnesota came back and defeated Washington, 3-2 in the Second Round. The win advanced the Gophers in their own NCAA Regional, where they went on to face Iowa State. Read the full recap.

Gophers Host Final Regular Season Match

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The University of Minnesota will host its final home match of the regular season as the No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers come to town. Match time is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday and will be available on Gopher All-Access.

The match also marks senior night for Tori Dixon, Alexandra Palmer and Ashley Wittman. The student-athletes and their families will be honored on the court following the match.

Wild Wednesday
General Admission tickets for Wednesday are just $4 (advance sale only). To purchase tickets in advance, go to mygophersports.com