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No. 1 ranked Minnesota heads to Chapel Hill, N.C. to play in the North Carolina Tournament on Sept. 17-18. The Golden Gophers will start off the tournament against Rice on Friday, Sept. 17 at 3:30 p.m. (CT). Minnesota will take on No. 20 Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 9 a.m. (CT). The Golden Gophers will also play host North Carolina at 6:30 p.m. (CT) on Sept. 18. Minnesota enters the tournament on a six-match winning streak. The Golden Gophers have won back-to-back tournaments, claiming the Wyoming Tournament and the Diet Coke Classic. Minnesota also enters the weekend with its first No. 1 ranking in school history. Rice and Loyola Marymount both enter the week with 7-1 records, while host North Carolina is 4-4. This tournament will be Minnesota's fourth and final regular-season tournament.
The Minnesota volleyball program received its first No. 1 ranking in school history on Monday, Sept. 13. The Golden Gophers received 1,559 points and 31 number one votes. Minnesota's No. 1 ranking broke a 24-week span that USC had held the No. 1 spot in the poll. The Golden Gophers join Penn State as the only other Big Ten team to be ranked No. 1 in the nation. The Nittany Lions were the last Big Ten team to be ranked No. 1 at the end of the 1999 season, when they won the national title. Minnesota's previous high ranking, No. 4, came after last year's run to the Final Four. The Big Ten has three teams in the top 10 this week. Joining Minnesota is No. 5 Penn State and No. 9 Illinois.
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