The grueling nature of the Big Ten Conference volleyball schedule requires teams to regroup quickly.
"It's a grind," Gophers coach Hugh McCutcheon said before his team's match on Friday against Penn State, "and there is not a lot of turnaround [between matches]."
On Sunday at Maturi Pavilion, both the Gophers and Ohio State will try to bounce back from losseson Friday.
The Gophers, ranked No. 12 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, were swept by No. 14 Penn State 25-18, 27-25, 25-22, while Ohio State, ranked No. 6, lost in four sets at No. 3 Wisconsin.
"It's important for us to learn from this loss and continue to grow from it," said McCutcheon after Friday's defeat. "We have to keep competing and being resilient because we're going to be in a lot of tight matches going forward. Credit to Penn State for making some big plays at key opportunities."
The loss ended a three-match winning streak for the Gophers (11-6, 6-3 Big Ten) and was just the second in eight home matches.
Jenna Wenaas had 15 kills and Airi Miyabe had 14 for the Gophers on Friday.
The Gophers and Buckeyes are meeting for the first time since the 2019 season when Minnesota won both matches. The teams were scheduled to play two matches in Columbus last March but the matches were not played because of health and safety considerations.
The Buckeyes (16-3, 6-3), who were ranked as high as No. 3 earlier this season — the highest ranking in program history — had a six-match winning streak ended by the loss to Wisconsin. The winning streak began after the Buckeyes opened conference play with losses on the road at Purdue (3-2) and Penn State (3-0). Included in their winning streak was a 3-1 victory at home over Purdue, ranked No. 6 at the time.
The Buckeyes have been paced by sophomore Emily Londot, who is averaging 3.71 kills per set and sophomore Rylee Rader. who has a .490 hitting percentage.
The Gophers and Ohio State will meet again in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 4.
Ohio State will be the host for this year's Final Four, scheduled in Columbus on Dec. 16 and 18.