It’s still early in the Big Ten volleyball season, but the Minnesota Golden Gophers have their toughest test of the season to date as they travel to Happy Valley to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions on Wednesday. Minnesota is 15-2 overall and lost just their second game of the year to Nebraska last week in Lincoln.
Now the Maroon and Gold will have to go into another tough building to take on the No. 4 ranked Nittany Lions at Rec Hall. Penn State was the No. 1 ranked team in the country for most of September and only dropped from their top spot after losing to Michigan State on Sept. 27.
For fans not able to make the trek to Penn State, the Big Ten Network has you covered as they will air the match live on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. CT.
“There are a lot of ranked teams in the Big Ten,” said Minnesota coach Hugh McCutcheon. “All the top teams have lots of studs, they are all physical and they all have people that can jump high and hit hard and that’s the world we live in.” With eight teams currently ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25, the Golden Gophers will be in for a fight all season long.
Penn State leads the conference in many statistical categories and will challenge the Gophers in all aspects of the match. One thing McCutcheon stressed was their service receive game over the last two matches.
“It’s always a focus and will absolutely continue to be one. Not just for this match, but for the rest of the season. It’s clearly one of the fundamental keys to being successful in our sport — being able to receive serve.”
In Other News…
- Wrestling season is a month away and the InterMat Wrestling pre-season college rankings have been released. The Gophers are ranked No. 3 in the nation heading into the season. Big Ten rivals Penn State and Iowa hold down the top two spots respectively. Two-time defending NCAA Heavyweight Champion Tony Nelson returns for his senior year and is the No. 1 ranked wrestler at his weight class once again.