The Gophers wrestling team is No. 3 in the nation in InterMat’s preseason rankings behind three-time defending NCAA champion Penn State and Iowa. Minnesota is the two-time defending National Duals champion.
Four individuals on coach J Robinson’s team are ranked in the top five in their weight class: two-time defending national champion Tony Nelson is No. 1 at heavyweight, Scott Schiller is No. 2 at 197 pounds, Dylan Ness is No. 3 at 157 and Logan Storley is No. 5 at 174.
U traveling for home baseball opener
The Gophers baseball team has released its 2014 schedule. Minnesota will open its season as the host team for a series against Northern Illinois in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 14-16. The Gophers, who no longer will be able to play in the Metrodome, will face St. John’s in their first home game at Siebert Field on March 26, weather permitting.
“We’re going from 34 home games to 18 in 2014,” Gophers coach John Anderson said. “There’s a big challenge on the front end of the schedule, going on the road the first five weekends and facing some quality opponents.”
• The Gophers (2-0) were No. 1 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine women’s hockey ratings for the 29th consecutive poll. But they were not a unanimous No. 1 team this week; No. 3 Clarkson (3-0) received one of the 19 first-place votes. Wisconsin, the Gophers’ next opponent at Ridder Arena this weekend, is No. 5.
• The No. 11-ranked Gophers volleyball team (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten) play at No. 4 Penn State (12-2, 3-1) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The match will be shown on the Big Ten Network. Minnesota is hitting .319, the fifth-best percentage in the country, but has not beaten the Nittany Lions since 2010.
• Gophers junior guard Rachel Banham is among 25 women’s basketball players on the preseason watch list for the Wade Trophy, presented annually to the Division I player of the year. Banham averaged 20.7 points last season.
• Senior Maggie Keefer of the Gophers was named the Big Ten women’s diver of the week and teammate Breanne Siwicki the freshman swimmer of the week. Keefer placed first in 3-meter (321.23) and second in 1-meter diving (293.18) in a dual meet against Arizona State. Siwicki won the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:08.89).
• Two Gophers also earned Big Ten honors in men’s swimming and diving. Freshman Daryl Turner was named the swimmer of the week after winning two individual events (the 100 backstroke in 48.43 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 44.65) and being on two winning relays (the 200 freestyle and medley relays) against the Sun Devils.
Sophomore Manny Pollard was the diver of the week after winning the 1-meter (341.7) and 3-meter diving (370.65) events against Arizona State.