The Minnesota volleyball team will host its Alumni Match on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion. The match will feature this year’s current team against Golden Gophers from the past.
Admission to the Alumni Match will be free to the public. This will be a chance for Golden Gopher fans to get a preview of this year’s volleyball team. Minnesota’s regular-season will begin on Friday, Sept. 1 when it faces host St. Louis at the St. Louis Tournament
The Golden Gophers will also face Northern Iowa on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the Rochester Auditorium in the Civic Center at 7 p.m. in Rochester, Minn. Minnesota’s home opener at the Sports Pavilion will be against U Conn on Friday, Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in its first match of the Diet Coke Classic.
Minnesota was ranked No. 22 in the preseason AVCA/CSTV poll, along with being picked to finish third in the Big Ten. The Golden Gophers had three players picked to the Preseason All-Big Ten team as senior middle blocker Meredith Nelson, senior opposite hitter Kelly Bowman and junior middle blocker Jessy Jones all received the honors. Nelson was a 2005 All-Big Ten selection at middle blocker last year, while Bowman received 2004 First-Team All-America honors. Minnesota also returns 2005 Team MVP Malama Peniata.
The Golden Gophers return 12 lettterwinners from a team that went 25-8, finished tied for third in the Big Ten at 14-6 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It also marked the sixth time in seven seasons that the Golden Gophers were third or higher in the Big Ten and the seventh time they won 25 matches under Mike Hebert.
Minnesota also welcomes a trip of newcomers in sophomore defensive specialist Krista Chin (transfer from Arizona), freshman defensive specialists Christine Tan and freshman outside hitter Rachelle Hagerty.