Nov. 21, 2012
|| Minnesota at Wisconsin/Indiana
The Last Meeting
October 17, 2012
Minnesota closes out the regular season with a split week against Wisconsin and Indiana. The Gophers travel to Wisconsin on Wed., Nov. 21 for a 7 p.m. match. Minnesota will then end the regular season when it travels to Indiana for its lone meeting against the Hoosiers. That match is set for 6 p.m. CT in Bloomington, Ind. Minnesota holds a 44-26 all-time mark against the Badgers and a 46-15 all-time record against Indiana.
Minnesota will await for the announcement of the second season as the NCAA Tournament begins, Nov. 30-Dec. 1. The NCAA selection show is slated for Sunday, Nov. 25 at 3 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
Minnesota’s win over Nebraska was the first since Oct. 4, 1980 and only the fifth time in school history. The Golden Gophers defeated the Cornhuskers twice that season. Against the Huskers, Daly Santana had a career-high 17 kills in 42 swings.
Minnesota is currently in a three-way tie for second place in the Big Ten. Predicted to finish fourth in the Preseason Big Ten Coaches poll, Nebraska, Minnesota and Ohio State all hold a 13-5 league record heading into the final weekend. Ohio State travels to Penn State on Wednesday before hosting Michigan Friday. The Huskers host Iowa on Wednesday before hosting Northwestern on Saturday.
With one remaining in the regular season, Minnesota is currently seventh in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), which assists in the NCAA tournament selection. Stanford holds the best RPI rating, followed by Penn State, Texas, Louisville, Nebraska and Kansas. In the Big Ten Ohio State (20), Purdue (26), Michigan (33), Michigan State (35) are in the top 64 RPI rating as well as an above .500 conference record. The Gophers have also faced 2012 opponents Kansas State (17), Dayton (22) and Tulsa (54).
For the third time this season, junior middle blocker Tori Dixon has been named the Big Ten Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week, announced Monday by the league office. After a stellar performance against Nebraska and Iowa, the weekly honor is the ninth Gopher selection this season. Dixon had a team-high 28 kills in the weekend wins over No. 9 Nebraska and Iowa. In the five-set, come-from-behind win over the Huskers, Dixon posted a .407 hitting percentage when she had 16 kills, two assists and seven block assists. On the service line, Dixon delivered two crucial aces in the fifth set as the Gophers erased a 7-2 lead en route the match win. She gained the most points for the Gophers in the win at 21.5. Dixon followed the Nebraska match with 12 kills, which tied a match high. She also hit .526 on the night and had two digs and a team high three blocks. On the weekend, Dixon averaged a team-best 3.50 kills per set and hit .457, while posting a team-high 10 total blocks.
University of Minnesota head volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon introduces his first recruiting class at the helm of the program and has announced the signing of five athletes to National Letters of Intent. Minnesota welcomes Tyler-Marie "Kalei" Mau (Kahaluu, Hawaii), Katie Schau (Richland, Mich.), Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minn.), Paige Tapp (Stewartville, Minn.) and Sarah Wilhite (Eden Prairie, Minn.) to the Golden Gopher program starting in the fall of 2013.
Wisconsin enters the week with a 17-14 overall record and a 5-13 mark against Big Ten opponents. Splitting action last weekend against Iowa (W, 3-0) and Nebraska (L, 3-0), the Badgers hold a 2-8 mark since their last meeting with Minnesota (10/17). In that span, Wisconsin fell to ranked opponents Ohio State, Penn State and like Minnesota, fell to Michigan and Michigan State on the road. The Badgers are led by Ellen Chapman, who averages 2.94 kills per set, while Julie Mikaelsen has 284 kills for 2.56 per set. Alexis Mitchell holds a .295 hitting clip for 2.65 kills per set. Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in digs, led primarily by Annamarie Hickey with 526. In all, the Badgers have seven individuals with triple-digit digs. Starting setter Courtney Thomas ranks fifth in the Big Ten in assists (averaging 10.98 per set), while Mary Ording and Mitchell rank seventh and eighth in the conference in blocks per set at 1.10 and 1.08.
The Indiana Hoosiers enter the week with a 12-18 overall record and 4-14 in the Big Ten Conference. Indiana dropped its last two matches to ranked Penn State and Ohio State last weekend with the last win at Iowa on Nov. 10. The Hoosiers are 5-10 at home, including a 3-1 win against Purdue on Oct. 16. Jordan Haverly ranks eighth in the league in kills with 113 and averages 3.96 per set. With a team-high 33 aces, Haverly also ranks second on the team with 265 digs. Kelci Marschall is second on the team with 282 kills, while Morgan Leach has 252. Katie Gallagher and Whitney Granado have 679 and 604 assists. Caitlin Hansen leads the team with 399 digs and ranks ninth in the league, averaging 3.53 digs per set.