Minnesota will finish up the Big Ten season at Michigan State Saturday, Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m. (CT). The Spartans, who will face Iowa on Nov. 28, have a 14-15 overall record heading into the week and are in eighth place in the Big Ten at 6-12. After defeating Iowa in five sets, Minnesota is currently ranked No. 12 in the nation, and enters the Michigan State match with a 25-6 overall record. The Golden Gophers are in sole possession of second place in the Big Ten at 15-4.
Minnesota clinched a tied for a second place with a victory over Iowa on Nov. 26. The Golden Gophers would finish in sole possession of second place with a victory over Michigan State on Nov. 29, or a loss by Illinois in one of its final two matches. Minnesota has finished second place or better in the Big Ten in six of the last nine years. The Golden Gophers finished second in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2006, and won the Big Ten in 2002. Minnesota also tied for third place in the conference in 2005 and 2007, and was sixth in 2001. The following is a look at remaining schedules for the Golden Gophers and Illinois:
at NU at MSU
After winning the Iowa match in five sets, Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert is currently sitting at 898 career wins. Hebert would become only the fourth head coach to win 900 matches at the Division I level. He would join Andy Banachowski (1,078 at UCLA), Dave Shoji (979 at Hawai’i) and Russ Rose (955 at Penn State) on that list. Hebert’s 837 wins in women’s volleyball at the Division I level put him fifth on the all-time women’s volleyball wins list, and fourth on the active list.
Minnesota played its 13th match against ranked opposition when it defeated No 20 Michigan on Nov. 21. The Golden Gophers are currently 9-4 against ranked opposition. Minnesota has defeated No. 21 LSU, No. 4 California, No. 16 Cal Poly, No. 18 Wisconsin, Illinois twice (at No. 16 and No. 19), No. 18 Purdue twice and No. 20 Michigan. The Golden Gophers have lost to No. 11 Hawai'i, No. 1 Penn State (twice) and No. 20 Michigan. Since 2002, Minnesota is 51-36 against ranked opposition in 87 matches. The Golden Gophers are tied for first with Washington for the most matches against ranked opposition at 13. Stanford and USC are tied at third on that list with 12 matches against ranked opponents. Penn State and Stanford lead the nation in wins against ranked opposition with 10. Minnesota and Washington are tied for third in the nation with nine wins against ranked opponents.
Minnesota has defeated nine of the other 10 teams in the BigTen this year. The only team the Golden Gophers did not beat this year was Penn State. Minnesota is the only team in the conference, other then the Nittany Lions to defeat nine of the other 10 teams in the conference. Illinois is third on the list having defeated everyone it faced this season except for Penn State and Minnesota.