The Minnesota volleyball program (18-6, 8-4) will host No. 18 Purdue and No. 16 Illinois this week. Minnesota will face the Boilermakers on Friday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. and the Illini on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
Minnesota’s match against Purdue can be seen live on the Gold Zone and can also be heard on gophersports.com. The Golden Gophers match against Illinois can also be heard on gohpersports.com.
The Golden Gophers, who are coming off a four-match Big Ten road trip, are 18-6 overall and tied for third in the Big Ten at 8-4. Minnesota is tied for third with Purdue, and trails second place Illinois (9-3) by one match. Penn State is in first place at 13-0 in conference play.
With this week’s matches against Purdue and Illinois, the Golden Gophers will have played 12 ranked opponents. Minnesota is 6-4 against ranked opposition going into the weekend. Minnesota is also currently seventh in the nation in blocks at 2.87 blps.
The Golden Gophers are led by Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.), who has 3.68 kps, 2.04 dps and 0.77 blps. Dieter is seventh in the Big Ten in kills and sixth in points. Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) is averaging 3.27 kps, hitting .323 and has 1.44 blps. Gibbemeyer is fourth in Big Ten in blocks and eighth in points.
Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) is first in the Big Ten digs at 5.04 dps, and has won four Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors. Rachel Hartmann (St., Charles, Ill.) is averaging 10.81 aps, which is second in the Big Ten.
Purdue enters the weekend with a 19-5 overall record, and is tied with Minnesota for third place. The Golden Gophers won in three sets at Purdue on Oct. 4. The Boilermakers are led by Stephanie Lynch who has 3.64 kps and 1.30 blps, while Danita Merlau has 3.17 kps and 2.05 dps. Setter Jaclyn Hart is fifth in the Big Ten in assists (10.02), and Kelli Miller is sixth in digs at 4.21 dps.
Illinois enters the weekend with an 18-5 overall record, and is in second place in the conference at 9-3. Laura DeBruler is second in the Big Ten in kills at 4.54 kps and has 3.15 dps. Johannah Bangert leads the Big Ten in blocks at 1.61 blps and has 1.60 kps. Kylie McCulley has 2.83 kps and 2.46 dps. Ashley Edinger leads the team in digs at 4.53 dps, and is third in the Big Ten.
Minnesota defeated Illinois in the first meeting of the year in five sets at Champaign on Oct. 3.