Volleyball | 20-10-2021 3:00 PM
MINNEAPOLIS —the no. 12 Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-5, 6-2Big Ten) are in the midst of a four-game home standings as they set to host No. 14 Penn State (13-5, 6-2 Big Ten) and No. 6 Ohio State (16-2, 6-2 Big Ten) on Friday and Sunday. Minnesota has won three straight games and 10 of the last 12 since the start of the year 1-3. This weekend’s schedule kicks off with a series of the Gophers playing seven ranked teams in their final 12 games of the regular season.
Friday 22 Oct.
No. 12 minnesota vs. No. 14 Penn State| 6:00 PM CT| BTN
BTNBroadcasters: Larry Punteney (PBP) and Salima Rockwell (analyst)
Gophers Radio Network: Tanner Hoops (PBP)
Sunday 24 Oct.
No. 12 minnesota vs. No. 6 Ohio State| 4 p.m. CT| ESPNU
ESPNU Broadcasters: Courtney Lyle (PBP) and Karch Kiraly (analyst)
Gophers Radio Network: Tanner Hoops (PBP)
LAST TIME OFF
The #12 Minnesota Gophers defeated the Indiana Hoosiers in three sets, 25-15, 25-16, 25-21, on Sunday.
The Golden Gophers (11-5, 6-2 Big Ten) were tempered by redshirt senior opposite Stephanie Samedy, which recorded 14 murders, six digs, and one block. Airi Miyabe 13 kills posted while Jenna Wenaas went for nine murders and nine digs.
As a team, Minnesota batted .358 with 46 kills, four aces, 49 digs and three blocks.
GOPHERS HISTORY AGAINST PENN STATE AND OHIO STATE
Minnesota is always 14-48 against Penn State, but they have a 6-11 score under Hugh McCutcheon. PSU has won its first eight in its series since the coach came to Minnesota in 2012. Since then, however, the Gophers have won six of the past nine, including three in a row and four of the last five. The Gophers won three in a row at home vs. PSU, with its last loss in 2017. The ‘U’ won both games at home vs. the Nittany Lions, 3-1 and 3-2.
Minnesota is all-time 46-36 against Ohio State, including a 13-1 score under Hugh McCutcheon. The Gophers have won eight in a row in the series. Under Hugh, Minnesota is 7-0 at home against the Buckeyes. OSU’s last win over the Pav came in 2007.
GOPHERS IN BIG TEN GAME
below Hugh McCutcheon, Minnesota is 138-39 (.779) in the Big Ten league. In its nine seasons leading up to 2021, the Gophers had eight seasons above .500 in conference play. In all eight of those seasons, the ‘U’ went 15-5 or better in conference play, with the best being 19-1 in 2018.
The Gophers have won Big Ten titles in 2016 and 2018 and have finished first, second or third in eight of the last nine seasons.
MINNESOTA thrives at home
Under coach McCutcheon, Minnesota is at home with 127-14 (.901), including a record 82-10 (.891) in Big Ten home games.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
The No. 14 Nittany Lions (13-5.6-2 Big Ten) hold conference wins Rutgers (2x), Ohio State, Maryland, Indiana and Northwestern. Their two conference losses came to Nebraska (3-1) and Purdue (3-2).
PSU is led by head coach Russ Rose, who is in charge in his 43rd year. He is the all-time leader of Division I victories with over 1,300 career wins. He led PSU to seven national titles, the last of which was in 2014.
The Nittany Lions are led by Jonni Parker (3.72 k/s) and Kaitlyn Hord (1.52 b/s). Both are in the top five of the Big Ten in kills per set and blocks per set, respectively.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE
the no. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes (16-2, 6-2 Big Ten) got off to a great start in 2021. They pulled off a perfect 10-0 in non-conference play before dropping their first two Big Ten games to Purdue (3- 2) and Penn State (3-0). Since then, they have racked up six consecutive conference wins, including a 3-1 win over Purdue.
OSU is led by sophomore head coach Jen Flynn Oldenberg, who is 32-6 in her two years in charge.
The Buckeyes are tempered by Emily Londot, who is fourth in the Big Ten with 3.75 kills per set. Center blocker Rylee Rader leads the league with an incredible 0.490 pass rate on 290 swings. OSU ranks second in the league as a team with a success rate of 0.290.
SAMEDY TAKES HER GAME TO ANOTHER LEVEL IN 2021
Stephanie Samedy had a phenomenal 2020-21 spring season, won Big Ten Player of the Year and was named First Team AVCA All-American for the third time in her career. She had five 20+ kill performances and averaged 4.15 kills per set and 2.48 digs per set.
She took her game to another level this fall, boosting her numbers in almost every statistical category. She averages a Big Ten best 4.67 kills per set along with 3.48 digs per set. She also had seven 20+ kill performances in 15 games this season.
SAMEDY AND VIENNA COMBINE AS LETHAL DUO
Minnesota opposite Stephanie Samedy and outside Jenna Wenaas have combined for 457 of Minnesota’s 813 homicides (0,562). They’ve hit double-digit kills a total of 25 times this season, while Samedy has hit 20 kills in seven out of 15 games. Statistically, they are the best offensive duo in the Big Ten Conference (chart below).
TOP BIG TEN ATTACK DUOS (IN % OF TEAM’S DEAD; as of October 20)
1. Samedy / Wenaas (MINN) – 457/813 (.562)
2. Paige Jones/Jess Mruzik (MICH) – 419/784 (.534)
3. Caitlyn Newton/Grace Cleveland (PUR) – 414/798 (.519)
4. Courtney Buzzerio/Addie VanderWeide (Iowa) – 402/780 (.515)
5. Sam Csire / Paula Neciporuka (UMD) – 431/861 (.501)
6. Temi Thomas-Ailara / Hanna Lesiak (NW) – 485/978 (.495)
7. Mady Saris/Breana Edwards (IND) – 427/879 (.485)
TIME TO LIKE IT OUT
The Gophers lead the Big Ten and are in the top 50 nationally in digs per set (16.10). CC McGraw leads the team (4.48) while Samedy (3.45) and Melanie Shaffmaster (2.68) are about four and three per set, respectively.
CC McGraw ranks fifth in the conference in excavations (273) and fourth in excavations per set (4.48).
GOPHERS VERY PRESENT ON THE PAV
No conference in the country has proven to be a better draw than the Big Ten, with 10 conference programs ranked in the top 25 in the latest NCAA attendance rankings through Sunday’s games, including the top three and seven of the top 15 in the nation. Nebraska remains #1 (8,148 fans per game), with Wisconsin in second (7,540) and Minnesota in third (5,151).
Of the 20 most attended NCAA Division I volleyball games this season, all 20 had a Big Ten school. Six were hosted by Minnesota.
Minnesota travels to Indiana on Wednesday for a game at 7 p.m. on BTN.
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