Minnesota hosts first 15 Penn State, Ohio State

Volleyball | 20/10/2021 15:00:00

MINNEAPOLIS – The No.12 Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-5, 6-2 Big Ten) are in the middle of a four-game home stand as they prepare to host No.14 Penn State (13-5 , 6-2 Big Ten) and No.6 Ohio State (16-2, 6-2 Big Ten) Friday and Sunday. Minnesota have won three straight games and 10 of their last 12 after starting Year 1-3. This weekend’s schedule begins a streak of Gophers playing seven ranked teams in their last 12 regular season games.

BROADCAST INFORMATION
Friday October 22
No. 12 Minnesota vs No. 14 Penn State | 6 p.m. HC | BTN
Maturi Pavilion
Minneapolis, Minnesota.
BTN Broadcasters: Larry Punteney (PBP) and Salima Rockwell (analyst)
Gophers Radio Network: Tanner Hoops (PBP)

BROADCAST INFORMATION
Sunday October 24
# 12 Minnesota vs # 6 Ohio State | 4 p.m. HC | ESPNU
Maturi Pavilion
Minneapolis, Minnesota.
ESPNU broadcasters: Courtney Lyle (PBP) and Karch Kiraly (analyst)
Gophers Radio Network: Tanner Hoops (PBP)

LAST TIME
• The Minnesota Gophers (12th) defeated the Indiana Hoosiers in straight sets, 25-15, 25-16, 25-21 on Sunday.
• The Golden Gophers (11-5, 6-2 Big Ten) were punctuated by senior redshirt in front Stephanie Samedy, who recorded 14 kills, six digs and one block. Airi Miyabe posted 13 wins while Jenna wenaas went for nine wins and nine digs.
• As a team, Minnesota reached 0.358 with 46 kills, four aces, 49 digs and three blocks.

STORY OF GOPHERS VERSUS PENN STATE AND OHIO STATE
• Minnesota are 14-48 against Penn State, but are 6-11 under Hugh mccutcheon. PSU have won the first eight in the series since the coach arrived at Minnesota in 2012. However, since then, the Gophers have won six of the last nine, including three in a row and four of the last five. The Gophers have won three straight home wins against PSU, the last loss being in 2017. The “U” won both home games against the Nittany Lions last season, 3-1 and 3-2.
• Minnesota are 46-36 against Ohio State, including a 13-1 under Hugh mccutcheon. The Gophers have won eight straight games in the series. Under Hugh, Minnesota is 7-0 at home against the Buckeyes. OSU’s last victory at the Pav dates back to 2007.

GOPHERS IN BIG TEN PLAY
• Under Hugh mccutcheon, Minnesota is 138-39 (.779) in the Big Ten competition. In his nine seasons leading up to 2021, the Gophers had eight seasons above 0.500 in conference. In those eight seasons, the “U” have been 15-5 or better in conference, the best being 19-1 in 2018.
• The Gophers won the Big Ten titles in 2016 and 2018 and have finished first, second or third in eight of the past nine seasons.

MINNESOTA THROWS AT HOME
• Under Coach McCutcheon, Minnesota are 127-14 (.901) at home, including an 82-10 (.891) record in Big Ten home games.

PENN SCOUTING STATE
• No. 14 Nittany Lions (13-5. 6-2 Big Ten) win Rutgers (2x), Ohio State, Maryland, Indiana and Northwestern. Their two conference losses came from Nebraska (3-1) and Purdue (3-2).
• PSU is led by head coach Russ Rose, who is in his 43rd year. He is the all-time leader in Division I with over 1,300 career victories. He has led PSU to seven national titles, the last of which was released in 2014.
• The Nittany Lions are led by Jonni Parker (3.72 k / s) and Kaitlyn Hord (1.52 b / s). The two rank in the Big Ten top five for wins per set and blocks per set, respectively.

OHIO STATE SCOUTING
• The No.6 Ohio State Buckeyes (16-2, 6-2 Big Ten) got off to a great start in 2021. They posted a perfect 10-0 record outside the conference before losing their Big Ten’s first two games against Purdue. (3-2) and Penn State (3-0). Since then, they’ve won six straight conference wins, including a 3-1 win over Purdue.
• OSU is led by second-year head coach Jen Flynn Oldenberg, who is 32-6 in her two years at the helm.
• The Buckeyes are punctuated by Emily Londot, who ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 3.75 kills per set. Middle tackle Rylee Rader leads the league with an incredible 0.490 hit percentage on 290 swings. OSU ranks second in the league as a team with a success percentage of 0.290.

SAMEDY TAKES ITS GAME TO ANOTHER LEVEL IN 2021
Stephanie Samedy had a phenomenal 2020-21 spring season, winning the Big Ten Player of the Year title as well as being named First Team AVCA All-American for the third time in her career. She had five performances of over 20 kills and averaged 4.15 kills per set and 2.48 digs per set.
• She took her game to another level this fall, increasing her numbers in almost every statistical category. She averages 4.67 wins per set in the Big Ten and 3.48 wins per set. She has also had seven performances of over 20 kills this season in 15 games.

SAMEDY AND WENAAS COMBINING AS LETHAL DUO
• Minnesota opposite Stephanie Samedy and outside Jenna wenaas combined for 457 of Minnesota’s 813 kills (.562). They have reached 25 double-digit combined wins this season, while Samedy has hit the 20-win mark in seven of 15 games. Statistically, they are the best attacking duo in the Big Ten Conference (table below).

TOP TEN FORWARDING DUOS (PER% TEAM KILLS; 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 (0.515)
5. Sam Csire / Paula Neciporuka (UMD) – 431/861 (.501)
6. Temi Thomas-Ailara / Hanna Lesiak (NO) – 485/978 (.495)
7. Mady Saris / Breana Edwards (IND) – 427/879 (0.485)

IT’S TIME TO DETERMINE
• The Gophers lead the Big Ten and are ranked among the nation’s top 50 in recoveries per set (16.10). CC McGraw leads the team (4.48) while Samedy (3.45) and Melani Shaffmaster (2.68) are just around four and three per set, respectively.
CC McGraw ranks fifth in the conference for recoveries (273) and fourth for recoveries per set (4.48).

GOPHERS HIGHLY PRESENCE AT 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 of the latest NCAA rankings through Sunday’s games, including the top three and seven of the 15 best in the country. Nebraska remains No. 1 (8,148 fans per game), Wisconsin second (7,540) and Minnesota third (5,151).
• Of the 20 busiest NCAA Division I volleyball games this season, all 20 featured a Big Ten school. Six were hosted by Minnesota.

AND AFTER
• Minnesota travel to Indiana on Wednesday for a 7 pm game on BTN.

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