• The Minnesota volleyball team will head to Gainesville, Fla. for the NCAA Regionals on Dec. 8-9. The Golden Gophers will face host Florida in the Regional Semifinals on Friday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. (CT). That will be the second match of the night, as Nebraska and San Diego will meet at 3:30 p.m. (CT). The winner of the two matches will play on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. (CT) for the right to go the Final Four. The Regional Final match will also be broadcast on ESPN U. Minnesota enters the week with the No. 2 seed in the region, and is the No. 8 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. Florida is the No. 3 seed in the region, and the No. 9 national seed in the tournament. Nebraska is the top seed in the region, and is the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. San Diego is the No. 4 seed in the region, and No. 16 in the nation. The Golden Gophers enter the week with a 25-7 record after defeating Siena in three games in the first round, and St. John’s in five games in the second round in Albany, N.Y. The Gators are 30-2, and join Texas as the only team that will host the regionals after hosting first and second rounds as well. Florida defeated Florida A&M in three games at home in the first round, and claimed a four-game victory over Arizona State in the second round. Nebraska, who is 29-1, stayed at home in the first and second rounds. The Cornhuskers defeated American in four games in the first round and Northern Iowa in three games in the second round. San Diego took the same route as Minnesota, winning a pair of neutral-site matches to advance to regional round. The Toreros, who are 26-5, defeated Jacksonville State in the first round, and won in five games over No. 25 Duke in the second round at Knoxville, Tenn.
• With a five-game victory over St. John’s on Dec. 1, Minnesota advanced to its sixth NCAA Regional in the last eight seasons. The Golden Gophers became one of eight teams to advance to six or more NCAA Regionals since the 1999 season. Minnesota is joined on that list by Florida, Hawai’i, Nebraska, Penn State, Stanford, UCLA and USC. Nebraska and Hawai’i are the only two teams to advance every year since 1999. Florida and UCLA have done so seven times in that span, while the Golden Gophers, Penn State, Stanford and USC have done so six times since 1999. Amazingly enough, three of the four teams in Minnesota’s regional made that prestigious list. Among Big Ten teams, the Golden Gophers and Nittany Lions have made the most regional appearances (six) since 1999. Wisconsin and Ohio State have each made five, while Purdue has made two in a row. Illinois and Michigan State have also each made an appearance in the NCAA Regional round once since 1999.
• Minnesota moved to 12-0 in 12 first round NCAA Tournament matches. The Golden Gophers are 10-0 in first round matches under current head coach Mike Hebert. Before Hebert, Minnesota won home first-round matches against Colorado (3-0 in 1989) and against Ball State (3-0 in 1993). In Hebert’s 10 first-round matchups at Minnesota, he has defeated Central Florida at home (3-2 in 1996), Miami (Ohio) at Provo, Utah in three games in 1997, Sacramento State at Los Angeles in three games in 1999, Robert Morris at home (3-0 in 2000), DePaul at Cedar Falls, Iowa in three games in 2001, New Hampshire at home (3-0 in 2002), Wisconsin-Green Bay at home (3-0 in 2003), Long Island (3-0 in 2004) at New Haven, Conn. and Winthrop (3-0 in 2005) in Knoxville, Tenn. and Siena in three games at Albany. N.Y. this year.
Minnesota at a Glance:
• Minnesota is 24-11 in NCAA Tournament Play
• Minnesota is 10-4 in NCAA Tournament Neutral Site
• Minnesota is 3-6 in NCAA Road Matches
• Minnesota is 2-1 vs. Florida, and 18-10 against the SEC
• Minnesota is 4-29 vs. Nebraska, and 75-49 vs. the Big 12
• Minnesota is 2-2 vs. San Diego, and 9-2 vs. the WCC
• Minnesota is 4-5 in NCAA Regional play, but has won its
last four NCAA Regional matches (in 2003 & 2004)
• Minnesota will be the first team in the tournament to play
two 30-win teams (St. John’s 31-4 & Florida 30-2)