• Minnesota will host a pair of Big Ten matches when it faces Illinois on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. and Northwestern on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. The Golden Gophers enter the week with a 17-7 overall record, and are tied for second in the Big Ten at 11-3. Minnesota has won 15 of its last 18 matches after starting out 2-4. Illinois enters the week tied for eighth place at 5-9, and has a 14-10 overall record. Northwestern is sixth at 7-7, and has a 13-10 overall record.
• Senior opposite hitter Kelly Bowman enters the week needing nine digs to become the 14th player in school history to record 1,000 digs. Bowman has 991 digs entering the week. On Sept. 22, Malama Peniata became the 13th player in school history to do so as she reached the accomplishment against Northwestern. If Bowman reaches the mark this year, it would be the second time in school history that two Golden Gophers reached 1,000 career digs in the same year. The only other time it happened was in 1989, when Chris Schaefer and Sharon Oesterling both reached the mark. Bowman entered the week second on the team 3.08 dpg this season.
• Minnesota is 15-3 since starting out the season 2-4. The Golden Gophers’ only three losses in that stretch have come at the hands of No. 3 Penn State (twice) and at Michigan. During the 18-match stretch, Minnesota is holding its opponents to a .159 hitting percentage. The Golden Gophers also have 16.15 kpg to 13.43 kpg for their opposition. They are also averaging 1.78 sapg to 1.08 sapg, and 2.92 blpg. Meredith Nelson has 3.36 kpg, is hitting .315 and has 0.93 blpg during the 18-match stretch. Kyla Roehrig has 3.23 kpg in the same stretch, while Jessy Jones has 1.35 blpg. Rachel Hartmann is averaging 12.77 apg and 0.78 blpg, while Malama Peniata has 5.49 dpg.
• The Golden Gophers enter the final six matches of the season in second place in the Big Ten with an 11-3 record. Minnesota sits in a tie with No. 10 Wisconsin who is also 11-3. After a loss to Ohio State on Wednesday night, Penn State is 13-2 in first place. Purdue is in fourth place at 9-5. The following is a breakdown of the remaining schedules for the top four teams in the Big Ten:
Minn. (11-3) Wis. (11-3) PSU (13-2) Pur. (9-5)
ILL NU MICH
NU ILL IOWA MSU
at Wis. MINN at MSU at NU
IOWA IOWA at Mich. at Ill.
at Pur. at Ind. ILL MINN
at Ind. at Pur. NU WIS
• Minnesota enters this week as one of the better teams in the top 25 against ranked opposition. The Golden Gophers have played 10 of their first 24 matches against ranked opposition. The 10 matches against ranked opponents ties the Golden Gophers for first among top 25 teams. Minnesota is tied with No. 3 Penn State for the most matches against ranked opponents. USC, Texas, Washington, Purdue and Wisconsin are tied for second with nine matches against ranked opposition. The Golden Gophers are also tied for third in wins against ranked opposition with six. Penn State leads the way with eight, while Nebraska is second with seven. Minnesota is tied with Stanford, USC and Washington for third with six wins against ranked opposition this season.