The No. 3 Gophers volleyball team was pushed to five sets by Ohio State but prevailed 23-25, 25-20, 25-13, 23-25, 15-11 on Saturday night in Columbus to clinch an outright Big Ten volleyball title. It’s the third conference title in program history; the others were in 2002 and 2015.
Regan Pittman had 20 kills and hit .594 for Minnesota (24-2, 18-0 Big Ten) while Stephanie Samedy added 17 kills and a team-high 21 digs.
Bia Franklin led the Buckeyes (12-18, 3-15) with 16 kills; Camry Halm had 32 digs.
U’s home opener on mat set
The Gophers wrestling team will face Oklahoma State at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Maturi Pavilion in its home opener. Minnesota is ranked No. 9, the Cowboys No. 2.
The two college powers have met every year since 2008, including twice in NWCA National Dual Championship Finals. Minnesota claimed the 2012 and 2013 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Dual Championships by defeating the top-ranked Cowboys on both occasions.
Four weight classes in Sunday’s dual will likely feature matchups between top-10 wrestlers.
At 125 pounds No. 5 Sean Russell of the Gophers is expected to meet No. 4 Nick Piccininni; at 133, No. 6. Ethan Lizak will wrestle No. 9 Dalton Fix; at 141, No. 8 Mitch McKee will face No. 5 Kaid Brock, and, at heavyweight, No. 5 Gable Steveson likely will meet No. 3 Derek White.
U swim teams 1st, 2nd
The Gophers women’s swimming and diving team won the 12-team Iowa Invitational with 1,136 points; runner-up Nebraska had 931. Minnesota’s men were second out of eight teams with 813, trailing only Purdue with 875.5.
The Gophers’ Tevyn Wadell set a school record in the 200-yard backstroke, winning that event in the Iowa Invitational in 1:52.46. Zoe Avestruz won the 100 freestyle (49:57), Lindsey Kozelsky the 200 breaststroke (2:09.30) and Mackenzie Padington the 1,650 freestyle in a meet record (16:03.13).
Bowen Becker of the Gophers won the men’s 100 freestyle (42.99), and Nick Yang took first in platform diving (398.85). Both set meet records.
Concordia’s reign ends
Two-time defending champion Concordia (St. Paul) lost to Washburn 25-22, 23-25, 15-25, 25-18, 15-11 in the championship game of the NCAA Division II Central Region at Nebraska-Kearney.
Brooklyn Lewis had 20 kills and Sara Macek 18 for the Golden Bears (24-9), who were seeded fourth in the region. Teammate Elizabeth Mohr had 65 assists.
Erica Montgomery led the Ichabods (32-4).
Tommies ousted on pitch
Luther College of Decorah, Iowa, beat St. Thomas 1-0 in the round of 16 in the NCAA Division II men’s soccer tournament at Stagg Field in Chicago.
Goalkeeper Aidan Hogan of the Tommies (16-4-2) made six saves, but Ben Keller got a shot past him the 55th minute.
Carson Davenport had three saves for the Norse (19-3-1).
The goal by Keller, of White Bear Lake, was his 12th of the season.
• The Gophers women finished 29th in the NCAA Cross-Country Championships in Madison, Wis. Bethany Hasz was the team’s top finisher, placing 49th overall in 20:43.49. Colorado won the team title with 65 points, led by individual champion Dani Jones (19:42.76).
• Carleton’s men were 14th in the Division III meet, paced by sophomore Lucas Mueller, who was 17th overall (24:49.7). The Knights women were 10th.
• The Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center in St. Paul was one of 21 organizations nationally to be named a 2018 Project Play Champion by the Aspen Institute.
• Minnesota State Mankato signed seven men’s hockey players this past week, including three in-state players. They are goalie Jaxson Stauber of Plymouth and forwards Cade Borchardt of Burnsville and Ryan Sandelin of Hermantown. Stauber and Borchardt are playing for Sioux Falls of the USHL this season, Sandelin, the son of Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin, for Penticton of the British Columbia Hockey League.