Minnesota will head to Hawai’i for the Honolulu Advertiser Classic on Sept. 4-7. The Golden Gophers will face No. 11 Hawai’i on Thursday, Sept. 4 at 12 a.m. (CT). Minnesota will wrap up its matches in the tournament with back-to-back matches against Cincinnati and Wyoming on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m. (CT) and 7 p.m. (CT) respectively. All three of Minnesota’s matches can be heard live on gophersports.com. The Wahine enter the week with a 1-2 overall record, after defeating Ohio University and losing to No. 1 Penn State and No. 6 UCLA last week. The Bearcats are 3-0 after winning a home tournament that included Wright State, Tennessee Tech and Marshall. The Cowgirls enter the tournament 0-3, after losing to Oregon State, Portland State and College of Charleston in Corvallis, Ore. Minnesota enters the tournament 3-0, after defeating Creighton, Texas A&M and LSU at the Bluejay Invitational.
Minnesota senior Kyla Roehrig is just 26 kills away from becoming the 19th Golden Gophers to collect 1,000 career kills. Roehrig had 33 kills last week in the Bluejay Invitational, including 19 in a match against Texas A&M. The last Golden Gopher to reach 1,000 career kills was Meredith Nelson in 2006. Roehrig would become the eighth Golden Gopher to reach 1,000 kills under Mike Hebert. She would join Nicole Branagh (1997-2000), Trisha Bratford (2001-04), Cassie Busse (2000-03), Jessica Byrnes (2002-05), Stephanie Hagen (1998-2001), Erin Martin (2001-04) and Meredith Nelson (2003-06) on that list.
The Golden Gophers will play at Hawai’i for the fourth time under Mike Hebert when they play in the Honolulu Advertiser Classic on Sept. 4-7. Minnesota’s first appearance under Hebert came in 1999 when it went 2-2 in the Hawaiian Airlines Classic. The Golden Gophers defeated Pittsburgh and Drake, and loss to No. 4 Hawai’i and No. 10 UCLA in the tournament that year. In 2000, Minnesota went to Hawai’i for the NCAA Regionals, and dropped a four-game match UC Santa Barbara to get knocked out of the tournament. The Golden Gophers also traveled to Hawai’i in 2003, when they lost to No. 2 Hawai’i, No. 22 Louisville and No. 13 UCLA in the Hawaiian Airlines Classic before regrouping later in the year and advancing to the program’s first Final Four. As a program, Minnesota also played in the Hawaiian Airlines Classic in 1991 and 1995. In 1995, the Golden Gophers defeated Texas and lost to Hawai’i and UCLA. Minnesota lost to Georgia, No. 1 Hawai’i and No. 4 UCLA in 1991.
With the three victories in the Bluejay Invitational, Minnesota jumped out to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2005. The Golden Gophers also jumped out to 3-0 starts in 1997 and 1998. Minnesota has not started a season 4-0 since it jumped out to a 15-0 start in 2000. The Golden Gophers three wins in the Bluejay Invitational also gave them a 3-0 record to start the season away from home for the first time since 2000. Minnesota also started 6-0 in 1997 and 9-0 in 1998.
All five of Minnesota’s newcomers saw action this past week during the Creighton Invitational. Pam Luiz averaged 2.20 kpg, 1.90 dpg and 0.50 blpg in three matches for the Golden Gophers. Freshman setter Alex Blatt, middle blocker Ariana Filho and freshman Jessica Granquist all got in during the second game against Texas A&M on Aug. 30. Ashley Suapaia saw her first court action as a Golden Gopher against No. 21 LSU.