The Minnesota volleyball program (22-6, 12-4) will host No. 20 Michigan and Ohio State this week. The Golden Gophers will face the 20th-ranked Wolverines on Friday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. and Ohio State on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m.
Following Sunday’s match against Ohio State, the Golden Gophers will honor the four seniors; Rachel Hartmann, Kyla Roehrig, Kelly Schmidt and Katie Vatterrodt. Those four seniors have gone a combined 91-35 (.722) overall and 54-22 (.711) in Big Ten play. The senior class has also finished third or higher every in the Big Ten, and has claimed eight Big Ten All-Academic honors collectively.
Both matches this week can be seen live on the Gold Zone, and can be heard live on gophersports.com.
Minnesota is coming off a successful road trip that saw it defeat Wisconsin (3-2) and Northwestern (3-0). With those two victories, the Golden Gophers moved into sole possession of second place at 12-4. Penn State currently sits in first place at 16-0 and is 28-0 overall. Illinois is in third place at 12-5, while Michigan is in fourth at 10-6. Purdue sits in fifth place with a 10-7 conference record.
The Wolverines are coming off a week that saw them defeated Ohio State (3-0) and Michigan State (3-1). Michigan enters the week with a 22-6 overall record, has won four straight conference contests, and claimed victories in seven of its last nine contests. The Wolverines are led by Juliana Paz who has 3.32 kps and 2.23 dps. Beth Karpiak also has 3.09 kps and 0.85 blps. Karpiak leads the team in blocks with 83. Michigan setter Lexi Zimmerman is second in the Big Ten in assists at 11.56, and averages 2.62 dps. Kerry Hance also leads the team in digs with 2.82 dps.
Ohio State enters the week with an 11-17 overall record, and sits in a tie for 10th place at 2-14 in Big Ten play. Last week, the Buckeyes lost at Michigan (0-3) and at home to Michigan State (1-3). Ohio State has lost 12 of its last 13 matches in conference play.
The Buckeyes are led by Katie Dull who has 3.86 kps, 1.27 dps and 0.73 blps. Kristen Dozier has 2.76 kps and 0.81 blps. Kelli Barhorst leads the team with 1.11 blps and has 1.74 kps, while Chelsea Noble has a team-leading 2.94 dps. Betsy Hone and Ashley Hughes have shared the setting duties this year, and average 8.21 aps and 6.52 aps respectively. Ohio State is coached by Geoff Carlson, who was a student assistant coach under Mike Hebert in 1999.
Minnesota enters the week with a 22-6 overall record, and has won four straight Big Ten matches. Brook Dieter heads into the week averaging 3.61 kps, 2.19 dps and 0.69 blps. Lauren Gibbemeyer has 3.27 kps, leads the team with a .325 hitting percentage and is eighth in the nation in blocks at 1.46 blps. Christine Tan leads the Big Ten with 5.04 dps and is 22nd in the nation in that category. Rachel Hartmann is third in the Big Ten in assists at 10.92 aps, has 1.97 dps and 0.60 blps.
As a team, the Golden Gophers are seventh in the nation in blocks at 2.83 blps and 27th in digs with 16.80 dps.
Mike Hebert also enters the weekend just five wins shy of reaching his 900th career victory.