Gophers Learn from Scrimmage at San Diego

Go Gophers! The Gophers faced San Diego in a two-day scrimmage last weekend.
Go Gophers!
The Gophers faced San Diego in a two-day scrimmage last weekend.
Go Gophers!

Feb. 13, 2014

The University of Minnesota women's rowing team got on the water for the first time this season as it traveled west for a scrimmage at the University of San Diego last weekend. The early-season scrimmage allowed the Gophers to not only get on the water, but also allowed the squad to work on balance, teamwork and to remember just how hard their sport really is.

"The whole issue of balance, and not just your balance, but balance in relation to the seven other people in the boat, is what makes our sport so challenging," head coach Wendy Davis said.

Minnesota raced four-minute pieces against the Toreros on Friday and Saturday morning. On Friday, the Gophers took to the water in the morning, before holding practice in the afternoon to fix issues they encountered earlier in the day.

"The nice thing about this format is that we do a scrimmage Friday morning and then you figure out what it is that didn't go well, and you have two practices to fix it before you go again on Saturday," Davis said. "It's really fun to see, of the three things that we try to fix, who got all three right, who got two of the three right, one of the three, and who went, `it's race day, let's panic.' Those things are a very important to figure out. So, in that regard, it was a very successful trip."

Along with building their skills in the water, the weekend also served as a team-building experience for the Gophers.

"I'm very proud of what the team did. Everyone was completely and utterly focused on doing the very best job they could do," Davis said. "We carried that kind of attitude throughout the whole weekend, so that is very encouraging. That is the kind of thing that makes it fun to coach here."

Though Coach Davis was satisfied with how her team performed together on the water, a few Gophers really stood out against San Diego.

"Kylie Andersen is figuring things out at a very rapid pace, even though she is so new to the sport," Davis said. "On the other side, Ellen Hughes, who is probably the most experienced person on the team, carried all of her knowledge into the scrimmage and didn't take a step back. Chelsea Miller is another one that retained what we have been working on, and Lynn Hodnett actually rowed better in the scrimmages."



Minnesota will scrimmage Sacramento State and California in Sacramento on March 1, before opening the regular-season on March 15-16 at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational in Oak Ridge, Tenn.