This Week's Storylines
• Minnesota will play its second tournament of the season when it heads to Lincoln, Neb. for the Ameritas Players Challenge on Sept. 8-10. The field of the tournament will include three ranked teams, including No. 25 Cal Poly, No. 20 Louisville and host No. 1 Nebraska. Minnesota will open up the tournament against No. 20 Cal Poly on Friday, Sept. 8 at 5 p.m. The Golden Gophers will then face No. 20 Louisville on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 4:30 p.m. Minnesota will finish the tournament against No. 1 Nebraska on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. The Golden Gophers enter the tournament with a 1-2 overall record. Nebraska is 4-0, Cal Poly is 5-1 and Louisville is 4-2.
• Minnesota will have played the No. 1 team in the nation in four of the last five years in non-conference play after its meeting with Nebraska on Sept. 10. The Golden Gophers faced No. 1 Stanford in the NACWAA Tournament Championship in 2002, went up against No. 1 USC in the NACWAA Tournament Championship in 2004, faced No. 1 Nebraska last year at the Sports Pavilion and will face the top-ranked Cornhuskers this week. The last two meetings with No. 1 teams, Minnesota has gone five games with No. 1 USC in 2004 and five games with No. 1 Nebraska last year. The only year in the last five that the Golden Gophers did not face a No. 1 team in non-conference play was 2003. That year, Minnesota opened up at No. 2 Hawai’i.
• Minnesota sophomore outside hitter Kyla Roehrig will return to her home state when the Golden Gophers play in the Ameritas Players Challenge on Sept. 8-10. Roehrig, who broke the Nebraska high school single-season record for most kills in a season in her junior year, will make her first appearance at the college level in the state of Nebraska. Last year Roehrig, playing in just her fourth collegiate match, had a strong performance against Nebraska with 13 kills and five blocks in a five-game loss to the top-ranked Cornhuskers at the Sports Pavilion. Roehrig enters the weekend averaging 3.27 kpg and 1.36 blpg. In fact, in her first match of the season she recorded her first career double-double with 15 kills and 11 blocks. The 11 blocks were the most in a single-match by a Golden Gopher since 2003.
• This week, the Golden Gophers will face a trio of ranked opponents at the Ameritas Players Challenge in Lincoln, Neb. It marks the first time since 2003 that the Golden Gophers have played in a tournament where all of their opponents were ranked. The last time Minnesota did this was in the Hawaiian Airlines Tournament on Aug. 29-31, 2003 when it faced No. 2 Hawai’i, No. 22 Louisville and No. 13 UCLA. Since 2002, not including this year, the Golden Gophers have faced 18 ranked opponents in regular-season non-conference play.
• Minnesota’s match with Nebraska on Sept. 10 will feature a matchup of the last two National Runners-Up. The Cornhuskers finished second to Washington in the 2005 National Championship, while the Golden Gophers finished second to Stanford in 2004 National Championship. The last time the previous two National Runners-Up faced each other was in 2004 when 2002 Runner-Up Stanford defeated 2003 Runner-Up Florida in the second round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament.