|| Minnesota at Golden Hurricane Classic
GOPHERS SET FOR TOUGH ROAD TEST AT TULSA
Minnesota travels to Tulsa Okla., to compete in the Golden Hurricane Classic this weekend. Minnesota will compete against No. 20 Dayton (10 a.m.) and No. 19 Kansas State (4:30 p.m.) on Friday, Sept. 14 and host Tulsa (2 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 15.
FOLLOW THE GOPHERS
All three Gopher matches this weekend will have video features through gophersports.com video subscription via Tulsa Athletics. Live statistics as well as an in-game chat will be made available through gophersports.com.
ON THE DOCKET
After opening the Big Ten Conference season at Illinois and Northwestern (Sept 21 & 23), Minnesota hosts Ohio State on Sept. 28 and Penn State Sept 29 at the Sports Pavilion.
HARMS NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The Big Ten Conference announced that Katherine Harms (Albertville, Minn.) has been named the league's Player of the Week following her performance against Texas. It's the first career honor for the senior and the second-straight award for a Gopher volleyball player as Tori Dixon was named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 3. Harms, a 6-foot, two-inch right side hitter, established 36 kills and hit .333 in the series against No. 4 Texas last week. On Thursday, she set a season-best 24 kills in 47 attempts to pace the Golden Gophers to an upset win over the Longhorns. Minnesota defeated Texas for the first time on their home court since 2010 and broke a 33-straight home match record, the longest streak in the nation. Harms recorded a double double when she had 24 kills (24-9-47, .319) and 13 digs. The 24 kills on Thursday was her career-second best after she had 29 kills against Washington (five sets) in the 2011 NCAA Second Round. She also had two assists and three block assists. On Friday, Harms, along with Dixon, led the team with 12 kills as she hit .357 against Texas.
ABOUT THE FLYERS
Dayton enters the tournament with a 7-2 overall record, but both losses have come within their last two of three matches played. Ranked as high as 10th in the nation, Dayton enters the weekend as No. 20 in the recent AVCA poll. Dayton is no stranger to Big Ten opponents this year as it has already played two. The Flyers opened the season with a straight-set defeat over ranked Illinois (8/24), but fell to Ohio State in five (9/7) in Bowling Green, Ky. Dayton is led by Rachel Krabacher, who averages 4.58 kills per set (13th nationally) and has a team-high 142 kills. She also has 68 digs and eight aces. Alaina Turner averages 2.55 kps, while Megan Campbell holds a team-best .393 hitting percentage and averages 2.41 kps.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS
Kansas State is off to its best start in program history, 9-0, here in the 2012 season. Ranked 19th in the current AVCA poll, K State last competed against Utah State, St. Mary’s and Missouri State, in which it won, 3-0. The Wildcats have only had one win that went longer than 3-0 against Oregon State, Aug. 25. KSU is primarily led by a junior outside hitter and middle blocker. Lilla Porubek leads the Wildcats in kills (100) and kills per set (3.57). CVU.com National Player of the Week, Kaitlynn Pelger, holds a team-best .329 hitting percentage and 14 aces and tied for team lead with 86 digs. Caitlyn Donahue is the primary setter as she has posted 342 assists in nine matches.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES
Tulsa hosts its first 2012 home matches this weekend and enter the tournament with a 7-4 overall record. TU is coming off a two of three wins at the Northern Colorado Classic in which it defeated UNC (3-2), fell to Creighton (3-1) and bounced back for a win against Ball State (3-2). Entering the weekend, the Hurricanes average 14.98 kills per set and hits .205 this season. Leading Tulsa is senior outside hitter Tyler Henderson, who leads the nation in kills per set with 5.50. Henderson is also ranked second in points per set with 6.00, and has tallied more than 20 kills in six of the Hurricanes’ 11 matches this year. Junior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson ranks second on the squad in kills with 2.88 per set.
Minnesota has won all three matches it has faced against Dayton, dating from 2003 (first meeting) to 2006 (last meeting. The Gophers hold a 15-2 record against Kansas State, dating back to their first meeting in 1973. The last loss to the Wildcats was in 1979. Minnesota defeated KSU in the last meeting in 2009, 3-2, as a part of the AVCA Showcase. The Gophers and Tulsa Hurricanes will be competing it their first battle in school history.
The No. 10 University of Minnesota volleyball team defeated North Dakota State in straight sets, Monday night, at the Sports Pavilion. The Golden Gophers (7-1) won by scores of 25-19, 25-17, 25-16 and handed NDSU its seventh loss of the season as it stands at 3-7. Tori Dixon led the team in kills tonight as she contributed a .609 hitting percentage with 15 kills (15-1-23), added two aces and three block assists. Other team leaders for the night included Katherine Harms, who had 12 kills and led the team in digs with 15. Senior Mia Tabberson had a match-high 23 assists. Lindsey Lawmaster had 12 digs, while Alexandra Palmer had an ace and 18 assists.
Minnesota has hit well as a team already in this early season. In fact, the Gophers lead the Big Ten and the nation in hitting percentage (.355). In eight matches this season, the Golden Gophers have hit over .500 in two matches (LIU Brooklyn, Miami), two over .400 (Appalachian State and Albany). Individually, Tori Dixon leads the nation as she has hit .541 in eight matches. In her opening match this season, Dixon had 14 kills in 16 attempts for a career-best .875 against James Madison. Katherine Harms also ranks high with a .434 hitting percentage, which ranks 17th nationally. Harms held a career-best .680 when she had 18 kills on 25 attempts with just one error. In the same match, Ashley Wittman hit a career-best .824, also against LIU Brooklyn.
SERVIN’ IT UP
Minnesota ranks 18th in the NCAA rankings in aces per set. With Minnesota’s 49 aces this year, the Gophers average 1.81 aps. Daly Santana ranks fourth in the nation in aps (0.74), while Tori Dixon has 10 aces this season and Lindsey Lawmaster has eight.