The Gophers volleyball team won the Big Ten championship last season, but it is picked to finish second this year behind Nebraska in the conference’s preseason poll released Tuesday.
Minnesota, ranked No. 3 nationally, enters Saturday’s season opener against San Diego in Stanford’s Cardinal Classic coming off an NCAA Final Four appearance last season. The No. 1-ranked Cornhuskers, who finished second in the Big Ten last year, won the national championship last season. Rounding out the preseason top five are Wisconsin, Penn State and Illinois.
Seniors Paige Tapp and Hannah Tapp and sophomore Samantha Seliger-Swenson represent the Gophers on the 14-member preseason All-Big Ten team.
Burnham holds lead
Sarah Burnham of Rush Creek Golf Club shot an even-par 71 to maintain a one-stroke lead going into the final day of the Minnesota Women’s State Amateur Championship at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club.
After building a four-shot lead at one point Tuesday, Burnham limped to the finish line by taking a double-bogey on the final hole.
“I played well but I didn’t finish well,” Burnham said. “I was happy with how I hit the ball and how I chipped the ball, except on the last hole. I bladed it over the green and then I chunked it. Those were my only mistakes of the day. Tomorrow hopefully I can hit those fairways, stick some pins and make some putts — that’s all you can really ask for.”
Burnham leads Heather Ciskowski of University Golf Course, who shot a 2-under 69. Emie Peronnin shot a 72 to remain in third place going into Wednesday’s final round. Final round tee times begin at 7:30 a.m.
Teams take MGA lead
The teams of Steve Chesley /Will Hickey and Justin Doeden /Alex Uloth shot 7-under 65 to take the lead into the final day for the 55th Minnesota Golf Association four-ball championship at Edina Country Club.
Three players made a hole-in-one: Jack Riester of Windsong Farms on No. 7 (194 yards, 4-iron), Adam Darula of Medina Golf & Country Club on No. 4 (120 yards, pitching wedge) and Ben Tharp of Valleywood Golf Course on No. 11 (158 yards, pitching wedge).
Koivu gets Finland’s ‘C’
Mikko Koivu will serve as Finland’s captain for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Koivu has been the Wild’s captain since 2009. He was captain for Finland at three world championships, winning in 2011. He represented Finland at the 2010 Olympics.
Finland is one of eight teams in the World Cup along with the United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, 23-and-under Team North America and Team Europe, made up of players from countries not represented. It runs Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto.
Wichita routs Saints
The St. Paul Saints fell 11-1 to the Wichita Wingnuts in an afternoon game at CHS Field. It was the Saints’ third consecutive loss in an afternoon contest. Wichita jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, then added two more in the third and blew it open in the fourth with five runs.
The Saints’ lone run came in the seventh when Trever Adams hit a solo homer to left.
Mavericks ranked No. 5
The Minnesota State Mankato football team was ranked No. 5 in the D2Football.com preseason poll. The Mavericks are the highest-rated NSIC team in the preseason poll. Minnesota Duluth (13th), Sioux Falls (20th) and Augustana (22nd) all appeared in the top 25.
Also, Jameson Parsons, a receiver at St. Cloud State, and Peter Bateman, an offensive lineman with Minnesota Duluth were named first team preseason All-America. Trey Heid, a quarterback at Augustana who graduated from Lakeville North, was named to the second team.