Gophers Head to USD/San Diego State Tournament The Gophers heads to San Diego on Sept. 17-18 for the USD/San Diego State Tournament.
The Minnesota Volleyball team will make one last trip before the Big Ten Conference season kicks into gear on Sept. 24. The Gophers heads to San Diego on Sept. 17-18 for the USD/San Diego State Tournament.
Minnesota will face UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. (CT) at San Diego State, play at San Diego State on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. (CT), and finish the tournament at No. 23 San Diego at 9 p.m. (CT).
Minnesota enters the week 8-1 in pre-season play and is ranked No. 12 in the AVCA Top 25. Tabi Love leads the team and Big Ten with 4.42 kps, has 2.26 dps, 0.65 blps and 0.26 saps. Ashley Wittman, who was named Freshman of the Week and Co-Big Ten Player of the Week, also has 3.81 kps, 3.68 dps and 0.68 blps. Setter Stephanie Nucci is averaging 12.36 aps, which is second in the Big Ten, and has 2.14 dps. Junior libero Jessica Granquist is second in the Big Ten in digs with 4.90 dps heading into the tournament.
The Golden Gophers have won each of the three tournaments they have competed in so far this season, taking the titles at the Golden Gopher Invite, the Diet Coke Classic and the Duke Invitational.
UC Santa Barbara enters the weekend with a 5-4 record. Last week, the Gauchos defeated New Mexico (3-2) and Sacramento State (3-1), and lost to Southern Methodist (3-1). The team is led by senior outside hitter Charlene DeHoog who is averaging 3.27 kps and 2.70 dps. Stacey Schmidt leads in blocks with 0.88 blps and has 2.94 kps. Chelsey Lowe leads the team with 2.81 dps, while setter Dana Vargas has 10.61 aps and 2.52 dps. The Golden Gophers are 2-5 against the Gauchos. Minnesota lost the last meeting between the two programs when UC Santa Barbara knocked the Gophers out of the 2000 NCAA
Regional Semifinals with a four-set victory in Hawai’i on Dec. 7, 2000.San Diego State has a 5-4 record on the season coming into the weekend. The Aztecs went 0-3 in Honolulu, losing to No. 6 Hawaii, St. Mary’s, and UC Irvine. Kyley Sexton leads the Aztecs with 3.39 kps and has 2.39 dps. Andrea Hannasch has a team-high 1.30 blps to go with 2.37 kps. Kristi Jackels leads with 3.38 dps in the backrow, while setter Johna Fouch has 11.19 aps and 2.59 dps. Minnesota is 0-6 when playing against the Aztecs. San Diego State won the last meeting in four sets when the Aztecs defeated the Gophers in Mike Hebert’s first match as Minnesota’s head coach on Aug. 30, 1996.
San Diego is 4-3 coming into the weekend and is currently ranked No. 23 on the AVCA Top 25. Last week, the Toreros defeated Virginia and No. 25 Long Beach State to climb two spots in the rankings. San Diego also beat UC Irvine on Sept. 14 in a three-set match. The Toreros are led on offense by Amy DeGroot, who has 3.58 kps and 2.88 dps on the season. Senior setter Kelsi Myers is averaging 10.08 aps and 2.04 dps. Ali Trost is also averaging 2.89 kps and 1.86 dps. The Gophers are 3-2 against the Toreros. Minnesota won the last matchup in four sets against San Diego in the Diet Coke Classic on Sept. 2, 2007.