• Minnesota will travel to a pair of ranked opponents this week, as it faces No. 2 Penn State on Friday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. (CT) and No. 14 Ohio State on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 1 p.m. (CT). The Golden Gophers are tied with Penn State and Wisconsin for first place in the Big Ten at 4-0 heading into the week. Ohio State is tied for fifth in the conference with a 2-2 Big Ten record. Minnesota enters the week on an eight-match winning streak, and is 10-4. Penn State is 15-0 on the season, while Ohio State has an overall record of 12-2. The Nittany Lions have won the last three Big Ten titles (2003, 04, & 05).
• The Golden Gophers are off to a 4-0 start in Big Ten play for the fourth time in 11 tries under current head coach Mike Hebert. The last time the Golden Gophers started 4-0 was in 2002 when they won the program’s only Big Ten title. Under Hebert, the Golden Gophers started 4-0 in 1999 (7-0), 2000 (4-0), 2002 (5-0) and this year. Two of those three years (2000 & 2002), Minnesota matched a school record for conference wins with 17.
• With four straight wins to start this Big Ten season, and three straight wins to end the 2005 conference campaign, the Golden Gophers are on a seven-match winning streak in Big Ten play. That is tied for their fifth-best Big Ten winnning streak in school history. It marks the 12th time under Hebert, and the seventh time since 2002 that Minnesota has won five or more straight games in Big Ten play. The Golden Gophers set the school record for consecutive wins in Big Ten play with 11 from Oct. 16 to Nov. 22 in 2002, which was the year they won their only Big Ten title. Five of Minnesota’s six longest winning streaks have come under Hebert. The only streak that did not come under Hebert, was a seven-match winning streak from Oct. 12 to Nov. 8 in 1985 under Stephanie Schleuder. The following is a list of the seven longest Big Ten winning streaks by Minnesota:
11 - 10/16/02 to 11/27/02
10 - 10/3/03 to 10/31/02
8 - 10/2/04 to 10/29/04
7 - 11/3/00 to 11/22/00
7 - 9/24/99 to 10/16/99
7 - 10/12/85 to 11/8/85
7 - 11/25/05 to present
• Minnesota enters this week with an eight-match winning streak. The Golden Gophers had not won eight straight matches since closing the 2004 season with 12 straight wins from Nov. 6 to Dec. 16 before losing to Stanford in the National Championship match. During the current winning streak, Minnesota has averaged 15.69 kpg, while opponents have 12.86 kpg. The Golden Gophers are also hitting .235 and holding opponents to a .127 hitting percentage, while outblocking their opposition 3.09 to 1.95. Minnesota also has 1.83 service aces per game to 0.83 for its opponents. Individually, Kyla Roehrig is averaging 3.86 kpg during the streak. Meredith Nelson has 3.48 kpg and is hitting .319 during the same span. Jessy Jones also is averaging 1.73 blpg, while Malama Peniata has 6.10 dpg. Meghan Cumpston is leading the way with 0.59 sapg. Minnesota is 8-0 since Peniata returned to the team on Sept. 13, and 9-2 since Kelly Bowman returned to the team on Sept. 8