|| Minnesota vs. Michigan / Michigan State
GOPHERS HOST FOR SECOND-STRAIGHT WEEK
Minnesota hosts for the second-straight weekend as it welcomes both Michigan and Michigan State to the Sports Pavilion this week. The Golden Gophers host Michigan on Wednesday at 7 p.m., while the MSU Spartans come to town on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
FOLLOW THE GOPHERS
The Michigan match against Minnesota will be televised live on the Big Ten Network Wednesday. Saturday's match will be featured on Gopher All-Access through a paid subscription. Both Gopher matches will feature an in-game chat and live statistics on gophersports.com.
ON THE DOCKET
Minnesota travels to Iowa and Nebraska next Friday and Sunday. Friday's match in Iowa City, Iowa is set for a 7 p.m. start. On Oct. 14, the Gophers head to Lincoln, Neb., and will face the Cornhuskers, live on ESPN2 at 2 p.m.
ABOUT THE WOLVERINES
Michigan enters the week with a 14-4 overall record and a 2-2 mark in Big Ten play. The Wolverines are led by junior Lexi Erwin, who averages 3.81 kills per set. The team's best hitting percentage belongs to junior middle blocker Jennifer Cross at .332 and averages 2.49 kills per set. She also leads the Big Ten in blocks per set (1.36). Lexi Dannemiller is the Wolverine setter as she has 707 assists, averaging 10.67 per set. Tiffany Morales was named the Big Ten's Defensive and Rookie of the Week. Against Iowa and Nebraska last week, the rookie libero averaged 6.86 digs per set, including 25 digs against Iowa and 23 against Nebraska.
MICHIGAN VISITS THE SPORTS PAVILION
Michigan visits the Sports Pavilion as the Gophers hold a 49-14 all-time mark against the Wolverines. The Gophers and Wolverines split action last season, both winning on each other's home court. Minnesota defeated Michigan in Ann Arbor on Oct. 7, 2011, marking the first Gopher win there since 2005. Last year at the Pav, the then-No. 24 Wolverines came in and won in three sets over the Gophers. It was the first time Minnesota fell to Michigan at home since Sept. 26, 1997 in a 3-2 loss. Both Minnesota and Michigan went on to NCAA tournament and made it to the Sweet 16 last season.
THIS TIME LAST YEAR
As the Gophers enter this week's Big Ten competition, they are 3-1 on the season. Minnesota last year, was 1-3. The Maroon and Gold opened last year with a home split against Illinois (L, 3-2), a Northwestern home win (W, 3-1), road losses at Ohio State (3-0) and Penn State (3-0) to kick off the conference season.
SANTANA TIES CAREER HIGH; TEAM LEADER IN ACES
Freshman Daly Santana tied a career-high 14 kills in the win over Ohio State last weekend. Her 14 kills against the Buckeyes came in three sets, compared to the 14 she previously set against Kansas State in five. Santana also had three aces in the match. She currently ranks fourth in the nation in aces per set (0.57) behind Jackson State's Christine Edwards, Michigan State's Lauren Wicinski and Penn State's Micha Hancock.
ABOUT THE SPARTANS
Michigan State enters the week with a 14-2 overall record and 2-2 in the Big Ten Conference. The Spartans, currently ranked 25th in the AVCA poll, play Wisconsin on Friday before making their way to Minneapolis. MSU started the season off with a 12-0 mark in non-conference before falling to Purdue in five on Sept. 21, won in three against Indiana on Sept. 22 and fell in three and won in three against Nebraska and Iowa (9/26 and 9/29). The Spartans are led by Lauren Wicinski, who has 239 kills on the season, 34 aces and 111 digs. Alexis Matthews holds MSU's best hitting percentage among starters at .459. Kristen Kelsay and Hallie Peterson have 413 and 243 assists, respectively, while Kori Moster has 257 digs this season.
LAST TIME AGAINST MICHIGAN STATE
Minnesota swept the Spartans in both matches last season, first in East Lansing, Mich., on Oct. 8 and again on Nov. 9 at the Sports Pavilion. The Gophers defeated the Spartans by scores of 25-22, 25-22 and 27-25 in East Lansing as Ashley Wittman and Katherine Harms each had 15 kills and Tori Dixon had 12. At the Pav last season, Minnesota won 25-20, 25-22 and 25-18 in a Wednesday match up. Wittman and Harms again paved the way with 11 and 10 kills respectively. Minnesota holds a 46-16 mark all-time against the Spartans, dating back to 1976. The Gophers currently hold an eight-game win streak over MSU following a 3-0 loss on Oct. 20, 2007.