The Minnesota volleyball team has finalized its 2009 schedule according to an announcement by Head Coach Mike Hebert on Tuesday, June 16.
Minnesota will face nine NCAA Tournament teams from 2008, including two-time defending national champion Penn State, a pair of Final Four teams and eight different squads that particpated in the NCAA Regionals.
The Golden Gophers will start the season in Omaha for a second year in a row when they compete in the Runza/AVCA Showcase. Minnesota will open the season against 2008 NCAA Tournament participant Kansas State on Friday, Aug. 28, and then face Nebraska, who advanced to the 2008 Final Four, on Saturday, Aug. 29.
After the season-opening tournament in Omaha, Minnesota will travel to George Mason (Aug. 31) and Navy (Sept. 1). The Golden Gophers will return home to host the Diet Coke Classic on Friday, Sept. 4-5. Minnesota will welcome Auburn, George Washington and Iowa State. The Iowa State match will be rematch of the second round of the 2008 NCAATournament.
Following the Diet Coke Classic, the Golden Gophers will travel to the Tampa Twice Tournament. Minnesota will be joined in that tournament by host South Florida, 2008 NCAA Regional Semifinalist Florida and 2008 NCAA Regional Finalist Washington.
Minnesota will finish up non-conference play at the Denver Tournament. The Golden Gophers will be joined by host Denver, Georgia Tech and 2008 NCAA Regional Semifinalist Oregon.
Big Ten play will begin for Minnesota on Friday, Sept. 25 when it hosts Wisconsin at the Sports Pavilion at 7 p.m. The Golden Gophers will also host Iowa on Saturday, Sept. 26.
Minnesota's first conference road match will be at Purdue on Friday, Oct. 2, and it will also face Indiana on Oct. 4 on the same road trip. The Golden Gophers will host the two-time defending National Champion Nittany Lions at the Sports Pavilion on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 1 p.m., and will also host Ohio State on Oct. 9 the same weekend.
On Oct. 16-17, Minnesota will travel to Illinois (Oct. 16) and Northwestern (Oct. 17). On Oct. 24, Minnesota will host Michigan at Williams Arena at 7 p.m. The Golden Gophers will also face Michigan State on Oct. 23.
Minnesota travels to State College to face Penn State on Oct. 30 and will also face Ohio State (Oct. 31/Nov. 1) on that trip. The Golden Gophers will host Indiana (Nov. 6) and Purdue (Nov. 8), before embarking on a four-match conference road trip against Iowa (Nov. 13), Wisconsin (Nov. 15), Michigan (Nov. 20) and Michigan State (Nov. 21).
The regular-season will wrap up with Minnesota facing Northwestern (Nov. 27) and Illinois (Nov. 28). Senior day will be on Saturday, Nov. 28 following the Illinois match. Minnesota will also host the NCAA Regionals at the Sports Pavilion on two of three days from Dec. 10-12.