WHAT TO WATCH GOPHERS vs TEXAS
1. Daly Santana’s big swing. The Gophers’ powerful senior is her team’s go-to hitter, and she has had an outstanding tournament, with 5.08 kills per set. Watch for her other contributions, too; She is a six-rotation player, reaching double digits in kills and digs 20 times this season — including each of the past three matches.
2. Balanced scoring. Though Santana gets much of the attention, opponents cannot focus solely on her. Hannah Tapp, Paige Tapp and Sarah Wilhite all provide scoring muscle when needed, and Hannah Tapp is the Gophers’ most accurate hitter at .349.
3. Rookie cool. Freshman setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson keeps the Gophers’ offense humming and has continued her accurate setting in the tournament. Look for her to spread the ball around to her hitters, provide pace and rhythm, and tee up big kills with her precise, extremely consistent sets.
4. No sweat. One of the Gophers’ best qualities is their ability to remain calm through the ebbs and flows of matches. They can adjust quickly and are not rattled during key points, even when opponents are surging, and they have been strong finishers.