Gophers Back on Road This Weekend
Nov. 14, 2017

 #7 Minnesota (24-3, 13-3) at Northwestern (14-14, 4-12) | at Illinois (18-9, 9-7) 
 MATCH 1 Minnesota vs. Northwestern (Friday | 7 p.m.)
  Evanston Township High School | Evanston, Ill. 
  Watch Online | Live Stats | Live Updates
 MATCH 2  Minnesota at Illinois (Saturday | (7 p.m.) 
Huff Hall | Champaign, Ill. 
Watch OnlineLive Stats | Live Updates
 SOCIAL MEDIA   @GopherVball | Facebook

The University of Minnesota volleyball program is on the road for the second straight weekend when it travels to Northwestern and Illinois, Nov. 17-18, in Evanston, Ill., and Champaign, Ill. Due to renovation of Welsh-Ryan Arena, the Minnesota/Northwestern match will be played at Evanston Township High School. 

The Minnesota matches at Northwestern and Illinois will be streamed live on BTN Plus. The matches will also feature a game day live page on, for in-game updates and stats.

Heading to Evanston or are a Gopher fan in Chicago area? Join alumni, friends and Gopher fans for a pre-game party at World of Beers, 1601 Sherman Ave, in Evanston from 5-7 p.m. It's free to attend! For more information, click HERE

Minnesota is back at home on Nov. 24-25 against Rutgers and Penn State. The Nov. 24 match is set for a 7 p.m. start, followed by a 7:30 p.m., on Nov. 25.

Northwestern is 14-14 overall and 4-12 in the Big Ten. Last week the Wildcats defeated Michigan and lost to Michigan State. As a team, the Wildcats rank ninth in the conference in hitting percentage, hitting .250 and second in services aces, averaging 1.54 per set. Symone Abbott leads the Big Ten in kills per set, averaging 4.14 and has a team high 360 kills. Nia Robinson follows Abbott with 334 kills and is seventh in the Big Ten in kills per set, averaging 3.53. Gabrielle Hazen leads the team in total blocks (105) and is sixth in the conference in the category, averaging 1.11 blocks per set. Taylor Tashima is fifth in assists per set (10.89) and aces per set (.35) in the conference, while Lexi Pitsas is 13th in the Big Ten averaging 3.85 digs per set. The Wildcats average 1.91 blocks per set and 13.12 kills per set.

Illinois enters into its second meeting with Minnesota this season with an 18-9 overall record and 9-7 Big Ten mark. The team lost to Michigan State and Michigan last week. In the conference, the Illini rank fifth in hitting percentage (.281), sixth in opponents hitting percentage (.207) and are first in blocks (2.97 per set). Jacqueline Quade leads Illinois with 325 kills and is 13th (3.35 kills per set) in the category in the Big Ten, while Beth Prince has 301 kills and averages 3.17 kills per set. Ali Bastianelli is sixth in the conference in hitting percentage (.386) and is first in blocks (1.64/set). She also ranks fourth in the NCAA in blocks. Jordyn Poulter is sixth in assists in the Big Ten, averaging 10.87 per set and Brandi Donnelly is fourth in digs, averaging 4.35 per set. As a team, Illinois averages 13.62 kills per set and 13.02 digs per set.

The Golden Gophers are 55-19 all-time against Northwestern, with the first meeting back in 1976. Minnesota faces Northwestern for the first time this season. Last year, the Gophers won twice over the Wildcats in 3-0 fashion.

Minnesota is 36-39-1 all time against Illinois, dating back to 1976. This weekend's matchmarks the second time the two teams face each other this season. Minnesota earned a 3-2 win over the Illini on Oct. 25, at Maturi Pavilion.

Minnesota produced a season-best 10 aces in the win over Indiana last weekend. Of the 10, six were from Alexis Hart. The last Gopher to have that many aces in a match dates back to 2012 when Daly Santana had seven against Miami of Ohio in the Diet Coke Classic. The 10 aces betters the eight aces previously held this season in matches against Illinois (Oct. 25) and UTSA (Sept. 2).

Samantha Seliger-Swenson reached the 4,000 career assist mark against Ohio State two weeks ago. She is the only junior in Division I to currently have over 4,000 career assists, now sitting at 4,113 career assists. In the same match, Molly Lohman reached the 500 block mark, which now ranks 11th among the NCAA's active leaders at 509. For her career, Lohman averages 1.31 blocks per set, which ranks eighth among career leaders. Dalianliz Rosado has 1,755 career digs, which ranks 20th among active NCAA leaders.

Minnesota is No. 4 in the latest NCAA RPI. In the top 25 spots, Minnesota has seven opponents listed: Penn State (1), Texas (5), Nebraska (6), Michigan State (11), Wisconsin (13), Purdue (18) and Louisville (25).

With the loss to Purdue, Minnesota dropped from five to seven in the recent AVCA poll. The Gophers were ranked No. 5 for the previous four weeks.




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