MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Golden Gophers, ranked 13th in the nation, are gearing up for their first home games of the Big Ten season in 2023. They will face off against Michigan and 15th-ranked Penn State this weekend. The match against Michigan will be streamed on B1G+ on Friday, while Saturday’s bout against Penn State will be televised on BTN.
The first game against Michigan will take place on Friday, September 29 at 6 p.m. CT at Maturi Pavilion in Minneapolis. The game will be broadcasted on B1G+ with Emma Carpenter as the Play-By-Play commentator and Kyra Schwanz as the Analyst. Live stats will also be available.
On Saturday, September 30, the Gophers will take on Penn State at 8 p.m. CT at Maturi Pavilion. The game will be televised on BTN, with Sloane Martin as the Play-By-Play commentator and Emily Ehman as the Analyst. Live stats will be provided as well.
There is a parking advisory in effect for the games due to the University of Minnesota Homecoming parade on Friday, September 29. University Avenue will be closed from 6pm to 8pm for the parade, causing additional traffic and parking congestion. The University Avenue Ramp will operate as usual, with parking availability outside of those hours. Those with a parking pass for the University Avenue Ramp can also choose to park at the Fourth Street Ramp to avoid the road closure. It is recommended for individuals to arrive on campus via I94, exiting at Huron Blvd. After University Avenue closes, those arriving via 35W will be directed to SE 8th St., then turning onto 15th Ave SE, and finally onto 5th St SE to park at the 4th Street Ramp.
In celebration of Tropical Night on Friday, fans are encouraged to wear their favorite tropical attire. All attendees will have a chance to enter a ‘Beach Bundle’ Giveaway, which includes a Yeti Cooler, Stanley Tumbler, and more.
Here are some notable facts about the Minnesota Golden Gophers:
– Keegan Cook, the head coach, won his 200th career game as a head coach on August 26 against Baylor.
– The Gophers are one of three teams to have played seven of their first ten matches against top-15 ranked teams.
– Minnesota is currently ranked 13th in the AVCA poll.
– Sophomore outside hitter Mckenna Wucherer leads the team and ranks 11th in the Big Ten with 3.35 kills per set.
– Minnesota has won 10 of the last 11 games against Michigan.
– Melani Shaffmaster ranks 8th all-time in Minnesota history with 3,365 career assists.
– Minnesota will have a stretch of eight games where they will only play one ranked opponent after facing seven in the first 10 matches of the season.
– In conference games, Minnesota ranks fourth in the league in hitting percentage, assists per set, and opponent kills.
– Minnesota has the third hardest strength of schedule in the nation so far, with opponents having a win percentage of .755.
– Fifth-year libero Kylie Murr ranks third in the Big Ten in digs per set.
– Melani Shaffmaster ranks third in the Big Ten with 9.75 assists per set against Big Ten teams.
– The Gophers have a 2-5 record against ranked opponents this season.
– Middle blocker Phoebe Awoleye ranked first in the nation in blocks per set after the first weekend.
In their last game, the Gophers lost to No. 2 Nebraska in three sets. Mckenna Wucherer had 11 kills, Kylie Murr had 11 digs, and Phoebe Awoleye had seven blocks.
Heading into Big Ten play, the Gophers have four losses in the preseason, which is the first time since 2006. However, the 2006 team finished with a 26-8 record and made it to the Elite Eight.
Michigan, led by first-year head coach Erin Virtue, has two wins this season against Sacred Heart and North Carolina. Senior opposite Kendall Murray leads the team in kills, and Lydia Johnson leads in aces.
Penn State, led by second-year head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley, has a 1-3 record against ranked opponents. They are led by Michigan transfer Jess Mruzik in kills and Ohio State transfer Mac Podraza in assists. Penn State leads the Big Ten in blocks per set.
Minnesota has a positive history against both Michigan and Penn State. They have a 61-16 record against Michigan and have won 10 of the last 11 matchups. Against Penn State, Minnesota is 15-46, but they have won seven of the past 12 games, including four of the last six.