The RV Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-8, 4-4 Big Ten) will be playing home games this weekend against Rutgers (9-9, 1-7 Big Ten) and Michigan State (12-7, 4-4 Big Ten). The match against Rutgers will take place on Friday at 7 p.m., while Sunday’s game against Michigan State will be a matinee at 2 p.m. Both games will be streamed on B1G+.
Here is the game information for each match:
Minnesota vs. Rutgers
Friday, Oct. 20
7 p.m. CT
TV/Stream: B1G+ – Emma Carpenter (Play-By-Play) and Jade Morrissette (Analyst)
Minnesota vs. Michigan State
Sunday, Oct. 22
2 p.m. CT
TV/Stream: B1G+ – Emma Carpenter (Play-By-Play), Hunter Bertram (Analyst), and Kyra Schwanz (Sideline)
Here are some important notes to know:
– Keegan Cook won his 200th career game as a head coach on Aug. 26 against Baylor. His latest win came on Oct. 15 in a 3-2 victory over Northwestern.
– Minnesota had been ranked in 130 straight AVCA polls before being unranked this week.
– Phoebe Awoleye ranks No. 27 in the nation and No. 4 in the Big Ten in blocks per set with 1.33.
– This season marks the 27th year that the Golden Gophers have advanced to the NCAA tournament.
– Kylie Murr is one of two Big Ten players to record double-digit digs in every match this season, doing so 16 times.
– Mckenna Wucherer leads the team and ranks 15th in the Big Ten with 3.27 kills per set.
– Melani Shaffmaster ranks 8th all-time in Gophers history with 3,529 career assists.
– The Gophers are playing six straight unranked opponents before facing No. 19 Purdue on Oct. 26.
– Lydia Grote has recorded 10+ kills in each of the last five games.
– Fifth-year libero Kylie Murr ranks fifth in the Big Ten in digs per set with 4.16.
– Minnesota ranks third in the Big Ten in service aces per set with 1.63.
– The Gophers have a 2-6 record against ranked opponents this season.
– Melani Shaffmaster has posted 40+ assists four times in 2023.
There are also some upcoming promotions for the weekend:
– Friday night will be the “Dig Pink” match for the Gophers against Rutgers.
– Sunday is “Alumni Day” where nearly 40 alums from five decades of Gopher volleyball will be in attendance. The 2003 Final Four team will also be honored on the 20th anniversary of their run.
In their last game, the Gophers defeated Northwestern in five sets, with four players recording 10+ digs and three players recording 10+ kills. Minnesota tied a season-high with 12 service aces in the victory.
The Gophers were previously ranked in the AVCA poll but dropped from the rankings on Oct. 16. They had been ranked for 130 consecutive polls dating back to 2015.
Rutgers is off to a strong start this season with nine wins, including their first-ever top-25 win over Minnesota on Oct. 7. They have a 0-4 record in Big Ten away games.
Michigan State has a 9-2 record in non-conference play and earned their first conference win at Maryland on Sept. 30.
Minnesota has a 10-3 all-time record against Rutgers and a 58-18 all-time record against Michigan State.
Melani Shaffmaster ranks second among all Big Ten setters with 0.95 kills per set in 2023. She also ranks 8th in program history in assists.
Phoebe Awoleye has been dominant at the net, ranking No. 27 nationally in blocks per set.
Arica Davis has been performing well in recent games, registering 23 blocks in her last four games.
The Gophers have a strong home record since 2015, with a 109-17 record at home.