July 30, 2012
Gopher connections Lindsey Berg (1998-2001) and future head coach Hugh McCutcheon are 2-0 in pool play at the 2012 London Olympics. The 2012 Olympics mark the third trek for the former Gopher Berg (2004, 2008, 2012), while McCutcheon is in his second head coaching role with a U.S. Olympic Team after leading the men's team to a gold medal in 2008.
The U.S. Team opened pool play against South Korea on Saturday and won in four sets, 25-19, 25-17, 20-25, 25-21. Berg, the U.S. team captain, provided 40 running sets on 95 assist attempts in the opening match against South Korea. She helped the U.S. offense to a 41.1 kill percent and .312 hitting efficiency (58-14-141).
Team USA, ranked No. 1, faced No. 2 Brazil on Monday. Team USA would earn another four-set win over the defending gold medalists by scores of 25-18, 25-17, 22-25 and 25-21. Team USA, who took over as the No. 1 in 2011, has now defeated Brazil in five-straight meetings. In the match, USA held a .350 attack percentage.
The preliminary round consists of a six-team round robin played every other day. The top four teams in each of the two pools advance to the Aug. 7 quarterfinals with the pool winner facing the crossover fourth-place team. The second- and third-place teams drawn into quarterfinal lots against the opposite pool. The semifinal round takes place on Aug. 9, followed by the medal round on Aug. 11.
Team USA will face China for a battle of the last undefeated team Pool B team. China, who won the bronze in 2008, defeated Serbia (July 28) and Turkey (July 30) each in four sets. The match is scheduled for Wednesday, August 1st.
A three-time All-Big Ten selection, Berg was a four-year starter at Minnesota and still ranks second all-time in Big Ten history in both services aces (283) and assists (5,913). During her Gopher career, Berg helped lead Minnesota to a pair of Big Ten runner-up finishes and NCAA Regional appearances in 1999 and 2000. In 2000, she helped lead the Gophers to a remarkable 30-4 overall record and their highest winning percentage in school history at .882.
On Feb. 10, 2011, Hugh McCutcheon was named Head Coach of the Golden Gopher Women's Volleyball Program. After completing his Olympic duties with USA Volleyball, the Christchurch, New Zealand native will take over the Gopher coaching reigns. Serving as the head coach of the U.S. Men's Team since 2005, McCutcheon has amassed a international coaching record of 192-70 heading into 2011-12. (85-37 Women (3 years) / 107-33 Men (4 years)).
Bill Kaufmann/USA Volleyball assisted in release
Gophers Beat Ohio State in Five-Set Thriller
Minnesota ended its regular home season in a five-set win over Ohio State, 25-27, 29-31, 25-17, 25-15, 15-9. The Gophers are now 25-4 overall and 17-2 in the Big Ten.
Gophers Close Out Regular Season This Week
Minnesota hosts No. 16 Ohio State Wednesday and travels to Indiana Saturday to close out regular season.
Gophers Third in RPI, Fourth in AVCA Poll
The Golden Gophers are ranked No. 3 in the final NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).