After losing to Penn State 3-2 on the road in early October, the Gophers volleyball team got its revenge Saturday night.
No. 3 Minnesota swept the No. 10 Nittany Lions 25-17, 25-20, 25-18 at the Sports Pavilion. Sarah Wilhite led the Gophers with 15 kills and just one error, hitting .359. Hannah Tapp had 10 kills and zero errors, hitting .556, and four blocks.
The Gophers (17-4, 9-3) hit .374 as a team in improving to 8-0 at home. Penn State (17-6, 9-3) hit .195 despite Simone Lee’s 17 kills. She hit .306 and had 11 digs.
This was only the Gophers’ 10th victory ever over Penn State, a perennial conference power, in 56 meetings.
U soccer favored
The No. 11 Gophers soccer team will play Indiana at 2 p.m. Sunday at Robbie Stadium in one of the four Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
Minnesota (13-3-3, 7-1-3) tied for the conference title with Northwestern and Penn State but is the tournament’s No. 1 seed based on tiebreakers. The Gophers also have a six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2).
Indiana (7-8-3, 4-4-3) is the eighth seed. One of the Hoosiers’ losses was 3-0 to the Gophers on Sept. 23 in Bloomington, Ind.
Big Ten XC meet here
The Gophers will host the Big Ten cross-country Championships on Sunday at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights. Fourteen women’s and 12 men’s teams will compete. The women’s 6K race will be at 10 a.m., the men’s 8K race at 11 a.m.
Michigan is the defending men’s champion. The Gophers’ Obsa Ali was 14th last year. Teammate Matt Welch is also a threat to finish high for Minnesota. He was the runner-up in the Griak Invitational on the same course last month.
Penn State is the defending women’s team champion.
Ex-Gopher dies at 76
Former Gophers basketball player Ray Cronk, of Red Wing, died unexpectedly at his home Wednesday. He was 76, Kronk led the Gophers in rebounds from 1960 to ’62 and was the team MVP in 1962. Cronk was drafted by the New York Knicks in 1964 and played with the Minnesota Muskies in 1968. He was a three-sport athlete at Bemidji High School.
• Gophers women’s hockey senior Lee Stecklein was honored as the Patty Berg Legacy Award recipient and senior wrestler Brett Pfarr as the Henry L. Williams Award winner when the Golden Gopher Fund hosted its annual Scholarship Banquet last week. These awards recognize individuals who excel in athletics and academics while representing the values of the athletics department.
• Individual winner Joe Coffey led St. Olaf to its fifth consecutive MIAC men’s cross-country title at Como Golf Course in St. Paul. St. Thomas beat three-time defending champion Carleton 50-67 for the women’s title. Senior Taybri Irving of Augsburg won the individual title.
• St. Cloud State, the two-time defending NCAA Division II champion, was ranked No. 1 in the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s preseason poll. Six NSIC teams are ranked in the top 25.
• Minnesota State Mankato was selected by NSIC men’s basketball coaches as the overall and South Division preseason favorite in the league. Defending NCAA Division II champion Augustana was picked for second.