Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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U golfer has back nine of his life to lead team to first title since '07

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz Updated: October 24, 2013 - 3:28 AM

The Gophers men's golf team is feeling pretty good this week.

Coach John Carlson's bunch won its first golf tournament in six years. It took first place at the Barnabas Health Intercollegiate in Bedminster, N.J. The Gophers won by 17 shots in a field of 15 teams.

And one golfer, Jon Trasamar, tore up the back nine at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club -- gotta like that name -- a par-72 course, 7,014 yards in length.

Trasmar, a redshirt senior from Blue Earth, Minn., shot a 6-under 66, a career best, on Monday. He had a routine 1-over 37 on the front nine, and an astounding 7-under 29 on the back with five birdies and one eagle.

Carlson called Trasamar's finish exactly what it was:"One of the finest nine holes in the history of Minnesota men's golf."

Trasmar's 36-hole total was a career-best 138, good for second place after rounds of 72 and 66. He led the field in scoring on the par 5s and par 4s, in total birdies with 12 and in eagles with two.

On Wednesday, he was named the Big Ten men's golfer of the week. An easy choice, it would seem.

It was the first tournament title for the Gophers since they tied Michigan State for first in the 2007 Big Ten meet.

The Gophers were four shots back of Temple after 18 holes but blew past the Owls the second day.

All five Gophers finished in the top eight: Alex Gaugert was fourth at 1-under 143, Jose Mendez and freshman Matt Rachey were both 1-over, tied for sixth, and Tyler Lowenstein was 2-over, tied for eighth.

* The Gophers as a team had rounds of 291 and 280 for a score of 5-under 571. Temple was next at 588 and host Seton Hall was third at 596.

* Brandon Matthews of Temple was the medalist at 137, one shot better than Trasmar.

* The Gophers end their fall season with one more tournament Nov. 3-5 at Kiawah Island, S.C.

Until the end, Gophers made mighty Penn State sweat in volleyball

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz Updated: October 10, 2013 - 3:07 AM

Mike Hebert's teams at Minnesota -- and he had some good ones -- had trouble winning in Happy Valley.

And on Thursday, second-year coach Hugh McCutcheon took his Gophers team to Penn State. And it was a struggle.

The Gophers were within 11-10 in the third set, five points from victory, when the Nittany Lions called timeout and ran off the final four points.

So. No. 4-ranked Penn State won 25-19, 23-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-11 in just over 2-1/2 hours. The score was tied 21 times and there were five lead changes, at least one in the first four sets, none in the fifth. The announced crowd was 2,067 and the match was televised live on Big Ten Network.

Fans saw a physical match with 36.5 blocks; PSU had the slight edge with 18.5, half a block more than Minnesota.

Ashley Wittman had a season-high 18 kills and 22 dogs for the Gophers and hit a team-high .292. Tori Dizon added 17 kills and nine block. Daly Santana had nine kills.

Penn State (13-2, 4-1)  was led by its returning first team all-america hitter Ariel Scott with 25 kills. Three teammates also reached double figures in that category: Katie Slay had 16 kills and 10 blocks, Deja McClendon has 14 kills and Megan Courtney 10.

In the fifth set, it was Slay who had two kills after the late Penn State timeout in the fifth set. Then she and Scott had a block, making it match point which came on a Gophers' ball-handling error.

The Gophers hit .208, PSU .245. Minnesota is now 15-3, 3-2.

"Minnesota is having a great year, and they are going to be really good. We are going to have to play really well to have success with them," Penn State coach Rose said before the match.

His team met the challenge and beat the Gophers for the sixth match in a row. PSU was 3-0 against the Gophers last season, beating them 25-19, 19-25, 26-24, 25-18 in an NCAA Regional final in West Lafayette, Ind.

Penn State is 41-8 all-time against the Gophers.

The latest victory over the U was the 1,104th for Rose. He is third on the all-time list of career victories in college volleyball.

His teams have won nine of the past 10 Big Ten titles, including last year when the Nittany Lions reached the NCAA semifinals.

Counting homers instead of sheep

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz Updated: September 5, 2013 - 11:40 AM

As the 15 games in the major leagues were coming into the Star Tribune headquarters on the wire Wednesday night, one thing seemed peculiar. The number of homers being hit.

So early -- very early -- Thursday morning, I added them up.

There were 48 hit in 15 games, or just over three per game. Seemed like more.

Here is a breakdown, with a few hightlights:

* Boston tied a franchise record with eight in a 20-4 stomping of Detroit.

* Pablo Sandoval, a third baseman, hit three of San Francisco's six against San Diego.

* There were two grand slams, one by Miami shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, one by the Red Sox's Will Middlebrooks, a third baseman.

* There were two grand slams, four three-run homers, 18 two-run homers and 24 solo homers.

* The only teams that did not go deep were Arizona, the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland, Houston, Kansas City, Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

* The Giants had only 80 homers all season before hitting six. Shocking. 

What do you think of all that? ... zzzz.

A home event for a U of M team for the first time in eight years

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz Updated: August 30, 2013 - 10:00 AM

For the first time since 2005, the Gophers women's golf team will host a tournament. It will be called the Minnesota Invitational, of course, held Sept. 16-17 at the Minikahda Club.

The course has been the site of some national and international events, namely the 1916 U.S. Open, the 1927 U.S. Amateur, the 1957 Walker Cup, the 1988 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the 1998 Curtis Cup.

The 12-team field, besides the Gophers: Illinois and Nebraska of the Big Ten, Texas State, Kent State, San Diego State, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, Jacksonville, Idaho and Georgia Regents.

Here is the rest of the fall schedule for the Gophers:

Northwestern’s Windy City Collegiate Classic at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill., Sept. 30-Oct. 1

Indiana’s Hoosier Fall Invitational at Hickory Stick Golf Club in Greenwood, Ind., Oct. 19-20

UNLV’s Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown on Oct. 27-29 at the Stallion Mountain Golf Club

The Gophers finished eighth in the Big Ten meet, but should be improved.

They added two talented freshmen, Sophie Kitchen from Collingwood, Ontario, and Emie Peronnin from Frejus, France.

Kitchen won the Toronto Star Women's Amateur. Peronnin is one of the best young women players in her country.

Junior Anna Laorr, of Eden Prairie, also had a big tournament win recently. She won the Minnesota Women's Golf Association State Match Play Championship.

Coach Michele Redman also has junior Carmen Laguna of Spain back. Last spring she was the top Gopher in the Big Ten meet, tying for ninth.

Then there is Banchalee Theinthong, the only senior on the team from Bangkok, Thailand. (One of two players from Bangkiok.) Her career stroke average of 76.66 is the second best in program history. She had three top 10 finishes in tournaments last school year.

The Minnesota Invitational, with two conference schools and four California schools, should give an early indication of how improved the Gophers could be.

* The Minikahda Club was established in 1898 and derives its name from two Sioux words meaning "by the side of the water." It is near Lake Calhoun.

 

 

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U volleyball recruiting class rated third in country

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz Updated: May 31, 2013 - 6:04 PM

PrepVolleyball.com recently rated the nation's 2013 college recruiting classes.

And, in this sport, at least, the Big Ten, led by Nebraska and the Gophers, does real well.

Minnesota is rated No. 3 in the country behind Nebraska and Southern Cal. Also in the top 10 are Wisconsin at No. 4 and Michigan State at No. 7. Three other conference teams crack the top 25: Ohio State is No. 11, illinois No. 20 and Michigan No. 25.

Here is what John Tawa says about the U, which is bringing in six player, three from in-state:

3. MINNESOTA:

Tyler Marie “Kalei” Mau, 6-1 OH, St. Francis, Honolulu, Hawaii;

Katie Schau, 5-9 S, Gull Lake, Richland, Mich;

Hannah Tapp, 6-1 MB/OH, Stewartville, Minn;

Paige Tapp, 6-1 MB/RS, Stewartville, Minn;

Sarah Wilhite, 6-1 OH, Eden Prairie


COMMENT: In his first recruiting class, Gophers head coach Hugh McCutcheon adds seven athletes who provide a tremendous combination of athleticism, skill, and history of winning to a team that returns 11 players from the 2012 Elite Eight roster.

Mau brings a physical presence and is a true competitor at the outside hitter position. She led St. Francis High School to a 2011 state championship and chose to graduate early from high school in order to join the Gophers for the 2013 spring semester, gaining valuable collegiate on-court experience.

No. 14 in PrepVolleyball.com’s Senior Aces, Wilhite is a six-rotation outside hitter with a live arm who led Eden Prairie
High School to its first-ever Class 3A State Championship in 2011. She is a two-time Minnesota Gatorade POY and 2012 Baden Minnesota Miss Volleyball honors.

Stewartville standouts Paige and Hannah Tapp add speed, power, and versatility with their ability to play multiple positions at a high level. Together with Wilhite, the Tapps, both Top 30 Senior Aces, led the Mizuno Northern Lights 17-1s team to the 17 Open title USAV Junior National Championships last summer.

A fantastic leader and fierce competitor, Schau brings a unique ability to manage a game that isn’t seen by many young setters. She understands the game at a high level and her ability as a great decision maker will help her develop quickly in the collegiate game.

Minnesota also adds two defenders from outside the USA. Puerto Rican libero Dalianliz Rosado, a Youth National Team member, has a natural feel for the game and an elite ability to read in the backcourt.

Australian Brittany Jack represented her country in several major tournaments over the past several years and is also a talented beach player. This is an extremely well rounded class with elite players at every position.

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