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Jeff Day

Multiplatform editor | Sports

Jeff Day is a sports multiplatform editor for the Star Tribune.

Recent content from Jeff Day
The Gophers huddled together during the third set against Nebraska on Sunday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

No. 12 Gophers volleyball keeps it close but swept at No. 2 Nebraska

The Cornhuskers seemed to come through when they had to at every key moment.
The Gophers played a daunting nonconference schedule, but their offensive numbers rank near the bottom compared to almost every other Big Ten team.

As Gophers volleyball enters Big Ten play, missing offense is a mystery

The offensive numbers are staggeringly low and just as importantly, they aren't passing the eye test, with Minnesota's opponents hitting them time and again with huge runs.
Gophers setter Melani Shaffmaster was injured early in the fourth set against Creighton, but returned in the fifth.

Shaffmaster injured, No. 9 U volleyball falls in five sets to No. 14 Creighton

Setter Melani Shaffmaster exited in the fourth set but did return in the fifth for the No. 9 Gophers. However, they could not overcome the 14th-ranked Bluejays.
Keegan Cook reacted on the sidelines during the Gophers loss to Texas last week. The Minnesota volleyball coach is feeling a fresh urgency just four m

Time to panic? U volleyball not going there despite resounding losses

Coach Keegan Cook is staying calm after losses to Texas and Florida, but that doesn't mean the Gophers aren't urgently addressing issues ahead of another big weekend.
Taylor Landfair (12) of Minnesota returns a serve during the third set Tuesday, August 29, 2023, Maturi Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minn. ] CARLOS GONZAL

Gophers volleyball gets championship lesson in four-set loss to Texas

Texas, who won the NCAA title last season, was crisp, assured and powerful — Minnesota was relentless but came up short in some fundamentals.
Kylie Murr, left, Phoebe Awoleye, top right, and Lydia Grote have added depth, experience and skill to a Gophers volleyball roster with championship a

Gophers volleyball transfers soaring as defending champ Texas hits town

The sting of losing Carter Booth and Jenna Wenaas didn't linger for the Gophers once Kylie Murr, Phoebe Awoleye and Lydia Grote arrived.
Gophers senior setter Melani Shaffmaster set the ball Friday night against Texas Christian.

Gophers volleyball wins debut under new coach Keegan Cook, beating TCU

The Gophers dropped their first set before steadying and turning back the Horned Frogs.
Gophers volleyball head coach Keegan Cook worked with his team at practice. There are six new players on the roster and the early season is expected t

How good can Gophers volleyball be? New-look team amped for its debut

The lineups and relationships are still being built, but a grueling non-conference schedule has arrived starting Friday. Here is what to watch for as the 2023 season gets underway.
After being named Gophers volleyball coach, Keegan Cook had eight months to make his mark on a program that had been shaken by the sudden resignation

New coach's challenge: Stabilize a shaken Gophers volleyball team

Hugh McCutcheon's departure left the U volleyball program reeling. His replacement, Keegan Cook, had eight months to refocus players, persuade wavering recruits and prepare for a season that begins this week.
McKenna Wucherer and the Gophers volleyball team opens the season ranked in the Top 10 with a series of Top 10 opponents headed their way.

Gophers volleyball ranked No. 7 in nation in AVCA preseason poll

Minnesota will face six ranked teams in its eight nonconference matches, including No. 1 Texas, No. 3 Stanford and No. 9 Oregon.
Zeynep Palabiyik is currently playing with the Turkish national team at the U21 FIVB European championships but will be eligible to play at the U this

Gophers volleyball grabs top libero out of Europe to finalize '23 roster

Keegan Cook and his coaching staff have been in a dead sprint of roster building since taking over in December. It took a trip to Istanbul to find Zeynep Palabiyik.
Gophers coach Keegan Cook (left), Taylor Landfair (center) and Melani Shaffmaster (right) took part in Big Ten media days for volleyball on Wednesday

U gets two more volleyball recruits as Cook debuts at Big Ten media days

With the Gophers volleyball season three weeks away, new coach Keegan Cook joined Taylor Landfair and Melani Shaffmaster in Chicago to talk about taking over the program.
Lindsay Whalen spent five seasons as the coach of the Gophers women’s basketball team.

Whalen details final days as Gophers women's basketball coach

In an interview Wednesday with Dan Barreiro on KFAN, Whalen discussed the last meeting she had with athletic director Mark Coyle and how she views her time at the U.
The Gophers celebrated after sweeping the Wisconsin Badgers in three sets at Maturi Pavilion last season.

Border Battle doubleheader: Vikings, U volleyball back-to-back on FOX

The Gophers trip to Madison to face Wisconsin in volleyball this October was already going to be one of the marquee matchups of the season. Now it's even bigger.
Keegan Cook hasn’t coached an official match with the Gophers yet, but recruiting is already underway and showing results.

Good communication lands Gophers two volleyball recruits the hard way

New volleyball coach Keegan Cook has commitments from a pair of 6-2 hitters. The interesting part? Cook cut one from a team he's coaching and the other really wanted to leave Minnesota.
The Timberwolves’ future in the NBA draft features trades going every which way, and a lack of first round selections.

What draft picks do the Wolves control in the next few years?

After the Rudy Gobert trade sapped the Timberwolves of a number of first-round draft picks, here is a glimpse of what picks they have remaining.
Taylor Landfair, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, will be essential as the Gophers navigate the 2023 schedule under first-year head coach Keeg

Key takeaways from the 2023 Gophers volleyball schedule

The complete 2023 schedule was released Wednesday and it features marquee matchups with Texas, Wisconsin, Stanford, Oregon and Nebraska and a rare homestand to end the season.
Former Lynx players Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles take questions from reporters Friday before being honored as part of the Lynx’s 2

Lynx celebrate 25 years of success and the long fight for acceptance

Becoming a WNBA dynasty, winning four titles and producing a number of historic players will be part of this weekend — but the Lynx are just as proud of what they have accomplished off the court.
The Gophers non-conference schedule will give fans plenty of reasons to pack Maturi Pavilion this fall.

Gophers non-conference volleyball schedule packed with top teams

The Gophers may have a new head coach in Keegan Cook but some things don't change, like a monster non-conference schedule that includes defending national champion Texas.
Connecticut Sun forward DeWanna Bonner celebrates after scoring a 3-pointer against the defense of Minnesota Lynx guard Kayla McBride in the first hal

'It's not OK,' Reeve says after frustrated Lynx lose, fall to 0-6

Minutes after a tense, rally-filled fight that ended with a 89-84 loss to Connecticut, Cheryl Reeve sat at the podium, rested her chin in her hand and found no silver linings.
Later this year, Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez will become the newest owners of a sports franchise in Minnesota — having bought the Timberwolves and

Local sports team values on an endless rise. Current total? Billions

It took $1 million to purchase the NFL franchise that became the Vikings. In the decades since, they have been joined by five other major Minnesota pro franchises — and their values have kept increasing. Here's a look at the rise.
The scope of club volleyball showed during a Northern Lights qualifier in January at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Club volleyball's multimillion-dollar world: Dreams, sacrifice, cold reality

Thousands of girls gather in Minneapolis throughout the year for elite competition in pursuit of college scholarships. A family can pay over $30,000 (plus travel) for a child to play from age 12 to 18. Here's an inside look at that world.
Drake Siens still had his bat in hand moments after launching a solo homer on Sunday against St. Olaf.

'I see this bat come flying.' Gustavus star goes viral in breakout season

Drake Siens put an emphatic blast on a breakout regular season with a home run for Gustavus as they chased a conference title — what he did next lit up the internet.
Mckenna Wucherer finished second in points per set for the Gophers last season as a freshman.

Gophers coach, two players with USA Volleyball for Pan American Cup

New Gophers volleyball coach Keegan Cook is leading the Under-19 team that includes one of his players, and another Gopher is on the Under-21 team that will play later this month.
Gophers freshman Anet Koskel lunged for a ball during the Gophers Invitational earlier this season.

When injuries became too much, U tennis team forced to cancel season

Amid injuries and illness, the Gophers women had some euphoric moments. But when the team was down to three healthy players, there was simply too much to overcome to keep competing.
Andrew Rohde led the Tommies in points and assists as a freshman last season.

Former St. Thomas star Rohde commits to Virginia as a transfer

The Milwaukee native led the Tommies in scoring and assists and was named first team All-Summit League and the conference freshman of the year.
Taylor Reid of Athletes Unlimited (No. 28 in blue) went up for an attack as current Gopher Arica Davis (No. 20 in white) and Deja McClendon (No. 18 in

Gophers exhibition with Athletes Unlimited shows promise of pro volleyball

Maturi Pavilion served as a split showcase for volleyball on Tuesday night, with Athletes Unlimited bringing a pro model to campus and the Gophers showing their development under new coach Keegan Cook.
Before he was “Badger,” Bob Johnson coached Roosevelt high school hockey and showed his goalie, Eric Knox, how to wear his mask ahead of the 1961

Bob Johnson's love of hockey changed his name, and the sport

With unending enthusiasm, 'Badger Bob' Johnson found success at every level of hockey, winning three NCAA titles at Wisconsin and a Stanley Cup with the Penguins. Now he enters the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame.
Mychal Thompson was a force for the Gophers from 1974-78, scoring a school record 1,992 career points.

Thompson's giants steps for the Gophers were taken in stride

Mychal Thompson's historic career with the Gophers led to a life in sports, something he said he never takes for granted as he enters the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame.
Jean Freeman posed for a photo in 2004 as she prepared to retire after 31 years leading the Gophers women’s swimming program.

By focusing on others, Freeman transformed sports at Minnesota

Jean Freeman was offered $50 to become coach of the Gophers women's swimming program in 1974. She would lead the team for 31 years and become an icon. This week she's inducted into the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame.
The Gophers volleyball team continue to fill out its roster under new head coach Keegan Cook.

Gophers volleyball signs middle blocker transfer from Loyola Marymount

Phoebe Awoleye ranked 19th in blocks per set in the nation last season and fills a key area of need after the transfer of Carter Booth to Wisconsin.
Clockwise from top left: Linda Roberts, Lou Nanne, Katie Smith, Mychal Thompson and Mick Tingelhoff are five of the 10 inductees for the Minnesota Spo

Ten from Big Ten are selected to Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame

Gophers basketball pioneer Linda Roberts, Vikings linebacker and executive Scott Studwell and hockey ambassador Lou Nanne headline a Big Ten-themed group, all of whom made a major mark on Minnesota sports.
The Gophers volleyball team will be getting defensive help at Maturi Pavilion next season with the addition of Kylie Murr, a transfer from Ohio State.

Big Ten volleyball Defensive Player of the Year transferring to Minnesota

Kylie Murr, a standout libero at Ohio State who was All-Big Ten the past three seasons, will use her fifth and final year of eligibility at Minnesota.
In October, Hugh McCutcheon announced he would resign as Gophers volleyball coach at the end of the season. Now he’s in a new advisory role at the U

McCutcheon on why he resigned as Gophers volleyball coach

Hugh McCutcheon knew his decision would impact others, and he did not make it lightly — but his decision to change professions was about finding meaning and living in truth.
Keegan Cook was formally introduced as the University of Minnesota volleyball coach on Monday at Maturi Pavilion.

Bring it: New U volleyball coach Cook welcomes the pressure

This isn't the first time Keegan Cook, who was hired as Gophers volleyball coach last week, has stepped into a program with major success and expectations to do even better.
Newly named Gophers volleyball coach Keegan Cook (shown coaching Washington in 2021) got a tour of Minnesota’s facilities and met with the team on M

'I can do this': Q&A with new Gophers volleyball coach Keegan Cook

After eight successful seasons at Washington, the newly named Gophers volleyball coach discusses why he changed jobs, replacing Hugh McCutcheon and how he views the current roster.
Keegan Cook of Washington, shown here coaching the Huskies in the Final Four in 2021, is the new Gophers volleyball coach.

Gophers hire Washington's Cook as new volleyball coach

Keegan Cook won four Pac-12 titles in eight seasons with the Huskies and will replace Hugh McCutcheon, who resigned after 11 seasons as coach to take a role within the athletic department.
When the Gophers return to action at Maturi Pavilion in 2023, it will be with a new head coach for the first time in over a decade.

What comes next for Gophers volleyball with McCutcheon era as coach ended?

McCutcheon's resignation, the hiring of a new coach and the question of keeping a stellar roster intact looms over an unprecedented offseason.
The Gophers celebrated a point during their four-set loss to Ohio State on Thursday in the NCAA Sweet 16.

Gophers' depth, youth no match for Ohio State in Sweet 16 volleyball loss

Outgoing coach Hugh McCutcheon focused not on the season-ending loss but on his gratitude for a team that rallied around his final season — and the promise in a future under new leadership.
Minnesota Gophers outside hitter Taylor Landfair (12) leaps to hit the ball during the third set against Southeastern Louisiana in the first round of

Live Updates: Gophers drop Sweet 16 match to Ohio State in four sets

Can't watch the match this morning? Star Tribune volleyball writer Jeff Day has live dates on the Minnesota-Ohio State volleyball match in the NCAA Sweet 16.
Gophers outside hitter Jenna Wenaas went up on the attack against Southeastern Louisiana in the first round of the NCAA tournament last weekend.

Gophers volleyball finds new heights ahead of Ohio State in Sweet 16

"We have proved that we deserve to be here," freshman Carter Booth said of a team that tore down everything to build a new foundation this season.
Logan Eggleston, shown here playing with Texas in the 2021 NCAA championship, is the front-runner this season to be national player of the year.

Gophers volleyball faces familiar foe in Buckeyes in NCAA Sweet 16

The Gophers vs. Ohio State. Texas vs. Marquette. On a showcase day for college volleyball, Minnesota is back in the Sweet 16.
Rachel Kilkelly and CC McGraw celebrate a point in the first game against UNI on Saturday at Maturi Pavilion

In McCutcheon's last home match, U volleyball reaches Sweet 16 with sweep over UNI

With the win, the Gophers are off to Austin, Texas, to face Ohio State in the regional.
Gophers outside hitter/opposite hitter Jenna Wenaas hits against Southeastern Louisiana during the NCAA regionals on Friday night.

Gophers volleyball sweeps SE Louisiana in NCAA first-round match

Minnesota was balanced, hitting .327 as middle blocker Carter Booth led the team with 11 kills. The Gophers held Southeastern Louisiana to .131 hitting and posted 11 blocks.
The Gophers celebrated after defeating Indiana in their final regular season match at home this year. They went 11-2 after coach Hugh McCutcheon annou

After McCutcheon's decision to resign, Gophers volleyball surged

Minnesota opens the NCAA tournament as the No. 8 overall seed after a stellar finish to Big Ten play. But the Gophers start to this season was rocky — and then came shocking news.
The Gophers will once again get to play host for the opening rounds of the NCAA volleyball tournament at Maturi Pavilion.

Gophers volleyball plays host to first two rounds of NCAA tournament

The tournament starts Friday with Northern Iowa facing Florida State and Minnesota facing Southeastern Louisiana.
Gophers outside hitter Taylor Landfair, shown going for a kill against Wisconsin earlier this season, led the Big Ten in kills and points per set.

Gophers' Landfair named Big Ten Volleyball Player of the Year

After missing the bulk of last season because of a torn abdominal muscle, Taylor Landfair anchored the Gophers and led the Big Ten in points and kills.
The Gophers put together an excellent finish to the regular season and were rewarded with a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament on Sunday.

Gophers volleyball earns No. 2 seed in Texas regional of NCAA tournament

Minnesota earned the No. 8 overall seed and will open against Southeastern Louisiana on Friday at Maturi Pavilion while the Longhorns loom as the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament.
The Gophers and Taylor Landfair, right, got a marquee win earlier this season when they defeated Wisconsin — the final weekend of Big Ten play will

Big finish to Big Ten volleyball for Gophers, three other top teams

The four top teams in the conference will play a quasi round-robin on Friday and Saturday that will determine the Big Ten championship ahead of the NCAA tournament.
Gophers volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon is in the midst of another successful season, but he will resign at season’s end for an administrative role

New book from U's McCutcheon gives a glimpse into job change

Gophers volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon doesn't want to talk about his transition to assistant athletic director until after the season — but a new book appears to shed light on his motives.
The Gophers volleyball team added two top recruits in the Class of 2023 on Wednesday.

Despite uncertainty around coach, U volleyball signs two top recruits

Sydney Schnichels and Calissa Minatee signed with the Gophers even though the program will not name a replacement for resigning coach Hugh McCutcheon until after the season.
The Gophers volleyball program is in the midst of a transition with coach Hugh McCutcheon’s planned resignation at season’s end.

Top volleyball recruit Choboy switches commitment from Gophers to Nebraska

Laney Choboy, generally considered the best libero in the country, said her decision to switch schools stemmed from the news that Gophers volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon will resign at the end of the season.
Gophers volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon met the media Tuesday for the first time since Sunday’s announcement that this will be his final season wit

McCutcheon won't say why he'll be resigning as U volleyball coach

Saying he wouldn't be answering any questions about his unexpected announcement that he will retire at season's end didn't stop the questions from coming when Hugh McCutcheon met with reporters.
The announcement that Hugh McCutcheon, center, will leave the Gophers volleyball team at the end of the season will create a crucial search for Minnes

Will next Gophers volleyball coach be able to keep McCutcheon's recruits?

Analysis: Whoever Minnesota hires to replace Hugh McCutcheon will face a unique challenge: Selling some of the best volleyball players in America that they should continue their careers and stick with their commitments to the Gophers.
Gophers volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon, shown here working with freshman Carter Booth earlier this year, announced he will leave the program at the

McCutcheon stuns volleyball world by saying he'll leave U at end of season

Gophers volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon wouldn't comment Sunday night after his decision to resign. Ten months ago, he agreed to a contract extension through 2025.
McCutcheon to step down after season

McCutcheon to step down after season

Esteemed U volleyball coach has run program for a decade.
Coach Glenn Caruso ran St. Thomas football practice on Thursday: “We’re not going to sneak up on anyone this year.”

Great expectations for St. Thomas football in only Year 2 of Division I

In their move from Division III to D-I, the Tommies are grappling with a 12-month swing from trying to do something unprecedented to succeeding wildly — and the expectations that come with that.
The Gophers volleyball team is looking to build off last year’s trip to the NCAA regional final.

Amid rising ticket sales and ratings, U volleyball seeks brighter spotlight

The Gophers will open the season with its usual Big Ten title and national title hopes — and a question from its coach: "What more do we have to do to be a revenue sport?"
Gophers senior CC McGraw is back for a fifth year after earning All-Big Ten First Team honors last year for the second time in her career.

Seven players to know about as U volleyball opens 2022 season

Depth and balance are the words being used to describe this year's roster — here are seven players to keep an eye on.
Live at Maturi Pavilion isn’t the only way to watch the Gophers volleyball team this season.

How to watch (nearly) every Gophers volleyball match this season

Almost all of the highly ranked team's matches will be available through cable, satellite or streaming services. The challenge can be where to find the match you're looking for. Here's a guide.
Johan Santana gestured after striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Rangers on Aug. 19, 2007.

17 K's, 15 years ago: Reliving Johan Santana's record-setting afternoon

On Aug. 19, 2007, the former Twins Cy Young winner put on the pitching performance of a lifetime.
Coach P.J. Fleck will get unprecedented national media exposure for his Gophers football team under the Big Ten’s new seven-year, $7 billion media r

What could new Big Ten media rights deal mean for the Gophers?

From doubling media revenue to increased national exposure, the Big Ten's historic media deal will have a major impact on the University of Minnesota.
The Gophers reached the Elite Eight last season and finished the year ranked No. 7 in the nation.

Gophers volleyball ranked No. 5 in preseason AVCA poll

After finishing last season ranked No. 7, Hugh McCutcheon's team jumps two spots in the preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association poll.
Coaches and players for the Connecticut Sun and Phoenix Mercury linked arms for 42 seconds in honor of Phoenix center Brittney Griner on Thursday. Gri

Reeve says Lynx having hard time with Griner verdict as world reacts

Britney Griner's conviction and sentencing in a Russian courtroom on Thursday wasn't a surprise — but it weighed heavily on WNBA players and others who followed her case.
Gophers players CC McGraw (left) and Taylor Landfair (right) and coach Hugh McCutcheon  took part in the first Big Ten media days for volleyball.

U volleyball excited for worldwide TV exposure, California expansion

A new international broadcast deal and the arrival of USC and UCLA in 2024 were hot topics discussed at the first Big Ten volleyball media days.
Jenna Wenaas (left) and CC McGraw (middle) - shown here facing Penn State in 2021 - were both named to the preseason All-Big Ten team on Monday for 20

Two U volleyball players named preseason All-Big Ten; team picked 3rd in poll

CC McGraw and Jenna Wenaas were named to the preseason All-Big Ten team on Monday at the first ever Big Ten Volleyball Media Days in Chicago
Former players Johnnie Gilbert (top left), Nick Anderson (top right), Isaac Johnson and Tyler Johnson (bottom right) and Lawrence McKenzie (bottom lef

'Today is a blessing.' McKenzie's message took time to grow on his players

For men who played for Larry McKenzie, who retired as boys' basketball head coach at North High this week after one of the most successful coaching careers in Minnesota history, the lessons of their teenage years remain.
Larry McKenzie, shown here with his Minneapolis North players before a game in 2019, retired on Monday after 24 years of coaching and six state champi

North coaching legend McKenzie retires, troubled by changes in game

In addition winning six state titles at North and Henry, Larry McKenzie built a legacy as a mentor. He lamented that basketball "is moving from what for me was a team sport to more of an individual sport pretending to be a team sport."
Last season as a sophomore setter, Gophers commit Stella Swenson helped lead Wayzata to an undefeated 34-0 season and the Class 4A title and was named

Everything sets up right for U to get commitment from star's sister

Stella Swenson is the younger sister of Gophers great Samantha Seliger-Swenson, but the decision to attend Minnesota was anything but predetermined for the Wayzata setter.
Wayzata’s Stella Swenson set the ball during the Minnesota Class 4A state volleyball championship last season.

U volleyball gets commitment from state's top recruit for 2024 class

Stella Swenson helped Wayzata to a Class 4A championship as a sophomore and was named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year. Her sister had a standout career at the U.
Chet Holmgren (34) of the Gonzaga Bulldogs warms up before a game against the BYU Cougars  Feb, 5, 2022, at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. (Chris

Mock drafts high on ex-Minnehaha star Holmgren. But how high?

High-profile mock drafts are mostly in agreement on who will select the ex-Minnehaha Academy star, who is headed to the NBA after one season at Gonzaga.
Blake Wesley (top left), Walker Kessler (top right), TyTy Washington (bottom right) and Kennedy Chandler (bottom left) are potential fits for the Wolv

Six players the Wolves could take with the 19th pick in the NBA draft

For only the second time in 18 years the team's top pick falls outside the lottery. The latest mock drafts have players at every position ending up in Minnesota.
The Gophers scrimmaged St. Thomas at Maturi Pavilion during spring practice in April.

U volleyball sets rugged 2022 schedule of Big Ten, national powers

Minnesota has 16 matches against Top 25 opponents from last season, starting with a rematch of their Sweet 16 NCAA match and opening the Big Ten home schedule against the defending national champions.
Thursday's Canterbury Park results

Thursday's Canterbury Park results

1 6½ furlongs. Fillies and mares. 3-year-olds and up. Starter optional claiming: $5,000. Purse: $22,000.5 • Where's Frankie (H. Hernandez) 3.20 2.40 2.206 • Even…
Gophers volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon watched freshman outside hitter McKenna Wucherer during practice in March.

How the Gophers rewire the nation's top volleyball recruits

Three of the nation's top prep players enrolled at the University of Minnesota this spring and got right to work, learning coach Hugh McCutcheon's formula for success. It meant forgetting everything they knew about the sport that has dominated their lives.