The Minnesota volleyball team (26-8, 17-3) was ranked No. 6 in the final CSTV/AVCA poll of the season on Wednesday, Dec. 20. The Golden Gophers had 1,161 points in the final poll.
Minnesota is one of just three teams in the nation to have been ranked No. 6 or higher in the final poll in three of the four seasons since 2003. The Golden Gophers finished 2003 ranked No. 4 and 2004 ranked No. 2, to go along with this year’s final ranking. Minnesota joins Nebraska (2004, 05 & 06) and Washington (2004, 05, 06) on that list.
The Golden Gophers finished the season ranked in the top 10 for the final four weeks. They first appeared in the top 10 on Nov. 20.
Minnesota has been ranked in 74 of the last 82 top 25 polls dating back to the 2002 season. The Golden Gophers have also been ranked the last 11 weeks. Minnesota moved up 16 spots from their preseason ranking of No. 22.
This past season, the Golden Gophers advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals for the third time in four years. Minnesota joined Nebraska, UCLA and Washington on that list.
The Golden Gophers advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals for the sixth time in eight years, and won on the road against No. 7 Florida on Dec. 8 to advance to the regional finals. The win over the Gators broke Florida’s 24-match NCAA Tournament home-winning streak.
In the NCAA Regional Finals, the Golden Gophers jumped out to a 2-0 lead against eventual National Champion Nebraska on Dec. 9. However, the Cornhuskers rallied to win the final three games to advance to the Final Four.
It marked the third time in four years that the Golden Gophers were knocked out by the eventual national champion in the NCAA Tournament. The five-game match was also the only one of the tournament for Nebraska, who defeated UCLA and Stanford in four games in the Final Four.
Minnesota finished the season as one of five Big Ten teams in the top 25. Penn State was ranked No. 5, Wisconsin No. 11, Ohio State No. 16 and Purdue was No. 18.