Stephanie Samedy had 20 kills and Regan Pittman 17 as the No. 4 Gophers volleyball team beat North Carolina 25-16, 26-24, 28-30, 25-23 on Saturday night at Target Center in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Minnesota (2-0) hit .240 to North Carolina’s .164 and outblocked the Tar Heels 17-10.5. Taylor Morgan had nine blocks for the Gophers, Pittman six.

Freshman libero CC McGraw led the Gophers in digs with 16, Samedy and setter Sam Seliger-Swenson had 10 apiece.

North Carolina (0-2) scored six straight points to take a 23-20 lead in the third set and held on to force a fourth set, which ended on Samedy’s final kill.

No. 9 Wisconsin (2-0) defeated Florida State 3-1 in the other match on the second day of the event.

Gusties favored

For the second year in a row, Gustavus Adolphus will begin the volleyball season as the MIAC favorite after garnering eight of a possible 11 first-place votes in the conference coaches preseason poll.

The Gusties, ranked No. 7 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Division III poll, return two-time MIAC Player of the Year and AVCA first-team All-America setter Nora Holtan and MIAC and Central Region Rookie of the Year outside hitter Kate Holtan, Nora’s sister.

St. Benedict was No. 2 in the coaches’ preseason rankings, and St. Thomas was No. 3.


• The Gophers women’s soccer team (3-0) will play No. 22 Washington State at 11 a.m. Sunday at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The starting time is two hours earlier than scheduled because of the threat of inclement weather. Last year the teams drew 0-0 in Pullman, Wash. Minnesota leads the all-time series 2-1-1.

• Bushrod won the 5-furlong, $100,000 Mystic Lake Turf Express at Canterbury Park. He returned $9.40.

• Brady Shoemaker and Justin O’Conner hit home runs, but the visiting St. Paul Saints lost 12-4 to the Chicago Dogs. Before the game, the Saints announced the signing of former Gophers outfielder Alex Boxwell.