The Minnesota volleyball team will host the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 14-15. That field will include Charlotte, Creighton and Wisconsin-Green Bay. Creighton and Wisconsin-Green Bay will play in the first match of the tournament on Friday, Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. Minnesota will play its first match against Charlotte on Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Creighton and Charlotte will start off the second day on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. The Golden Gophers will face Wisconsin-Green Bay at 12:30 p.m. in their second match of the tournament. Charlotte will face Wisconsin-Green Bay at 5 p.m., and Minnesota will finish the tournament against Creighton at 7:30 p.m. Charlotte enters the tournament with a record of 7-2. Creighton is 5-4, while Wisconsin-Green Bay is 1-5. Minnesota enters the week ranked No. 13 and has a 4-3 overall record.
Minnesota will play its next five matches at home, and will be at the Sports Pavilion for six of its next seven contests. The Golden Gophers host Charlotte, Creighton and Wisconsin-Green Bay in the Gopher Invitational, and then will open up Big Ten play at home against Purdue on Sept. 21 and face Indiana on Sept. 23. After Minnesota plays at Iowa, the Golden Gophers will return home to face No. 10 Michigan on Sept. 30.
Minnesota will host its second home tournament of the 2007 campaign. The Golden Gophers also hosted Stanford, San Diego and Ohio University in the Diet Coke Classic on Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Minnesota last hosted two non-conference tournaments in the same season in 2003 when it hosted the Diet Coke Classic and the Nike Invitational. In 2002, Minnesota hosted the NACWAA Classic, the Diet Coke Classic and the Nike Invitational. This is only the third year since Mike Hebert has been the head coach, that the Golden Gophers have hosted two or more home tournaments.
The Golden Gophers will play in their third non-conference tournament this year. Minnesota is 3-3 in the Diet Coke Classic and Golden Bear Classic this year. Minnesota has wins against Eastern Kentucky, San Diego and Utah State, and losses to California, Ohio University and Stanford. In Mike Hebert’s 12th season with the program, the Golden Gophers have accumulated a 94-28 overall record in non-conference tournaments. Minnesota has won 20 tournament championships in that timeframe. The Golden Gophers won three tournament championships in 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005. Minnesota also won a pair of tournaments in 1999, and claimed single tournament championships in 1998, 2003 and 2006. Minnesota has won at least one non-conference tournament every since 2002. The only two years the Golden Gophers did not win a non-conference tournament title were in 1996 and 2001.
Minnesota is tied for second among teams in the top 25 for most matches against ranked opposition this year. The Golden Gophers have faced ranked opponents in four of their seven matches this season. Penn State has faced five ranked opponents this season, which is the most of any team in the top 25. Minnesota is tied with Nebraska, Stanford, UCLA, Cal Poly and San Diego for second place. The Golden Gophers have faced No. 17 Ohio University, No. 2 Stanford, No. 18 San Diego and No. 11 California.