• Minnesota opens its home schedule with the Diet Coke Classic on Friday and Saturday at the Sports Pavilion. The Gophers face Long Island at 8 p.m. Friday, Miami (Ohio) at 10 a.m. Saturday and Albany at 8 p.m. Saturday.

• The Gophers were ranked No. 16 in the AVCA preseason poll and are 2-0 on the season after road victories last weekend over James Madison and Appalachian State.

• Head coach Hugh McCutcheon, who was hired Feb. 10, 2011, had his first practice with the team Thursday. He had been fulfilling duties as the head coach of the U.S. women's team, helping lead the squad to a silver medal in the London Olympics.