The Minnesota volleyball program (15-3, 5-1) will host Iowa (11-7, 3-3) at the Sports Pavilion on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.
Minnesota enters the week in second in place in the Big Ten at 5-1, after a three-set loss to No. 1 Penn State on Oct. 11. The Golden Gophers’ matchup with Iowa will be its third match in six days. Minnesota also defeated Indiana in three sets on Oct. 10 at the Sports Pavilion.
The Golden Gophers enter the week in the top five in the nation in both blocks and digs on the season. Minnesota’s 17.89 dps are second in the nation, while its 2.90 blps are fifth. Penn State’s 1994 team is the only team in the last 15 years to finish in the top 10 nationally in both digs and blocks in the same season.
Minnesota is led by Lauren Gibbemeyer who is averaging 3.36 kps, is hitting a team-high .321 and has 1.52 blps. Brook Dieter has 3.44 kps and 1.84 dps, while Christine Tan leads the Big Ten in digs per set at 5.31. Rachel Hartmann is third in the Big Ten in assists at 11.11 aps, and also 2.23 dps and 0.63 blps.
Iowa enters the week in a four-way tie for fifth place in the Big Ten 3-3. The Hawkeyes are led by Catherine Smale who has 3.48 kps and 2.28 dps. Megan Schipper is also averaging 3.14 kps and 1.97 dps. Emily Hiza leads the team in digs at 3.79 dps, while Laura Kremer has a team-high 0.89 blps and is averaging 2.03 kps.
The Minnesota-Iowa match will broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. Randy Reinhart will be the play-by-play announcer and former Ohio State head coach Jim Stone will do the color commentary.
Minnesota will play its second match of the week against Michigan State on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion. That match can be seen on ESPN 2 on tape-delay on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 12 p.m. (CT).
After the match against the Spartans, the Golden Gophers will have played 12 of their last 14 matches at home. Minnesota will head on a four-match road trip (at Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Indiana) after the Michigan State match.