When: Friday and Saturday
Where: Sports Pavilion
Schedule: Friday, USC vs. Hawaii, 4:30 p.m.; Gophers vs. North Dakota, 7 p.m. Winners play Saturday at 6 p.m.
Tickets: All-session tickets for Friday and Saturday are sold out. Any tickets returned from allotments issued to participating teams will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. and will be sold on a single-session basis. Go to mygophersports.com or call 1-800-UGOPHER.
No. 1 Gophers (25-4, 17-3 Big Ten) vs. North Dakota (26-9, 14-2 Big Sky): After finishing the regular season with a 10-match win streak — including victories over Nebraska and Wisconsin, then ranked No. 1 and No. 3 — the Gophers rose from No. 2 to the top spot in the national rankings. They beat North Dakota 3-1 in their first home match of the season and are 13-0 at the Sports Pavilion. Sarah Wilhite, named Big Ten player of the year Tuesday, has led the team in kills in 22 of 29 matches and is 38th in the nation with 4.14 kills per set. Big Ten setter of the year Samantha Seliger-Swenson is ninth in the nation with 11.45 assists per set. … North Dakota won the Big Sky’s regular-season and tournament titles and has tied the school record for most victories. The Fighting Hawks have won 11 matches in a row, sweeping their past five, and have three players with more than 300 kills: Tamara Merseli (362), Chelsea Moser (327) and Faith Dooley (311).
USC (18-13, 10-10 Pac-12) vs. No. 12 Hawaii (22-5, 15-1 Big West): Hawaii enters the tournament as the Big West champion, with only one loss in its past 18 matches. Big West player of the year Nikki Taylor has powered a 10-match win streak for a team that is hitting .277. Taylor has 363 kills and is ranked 11th in the nation in kills per set (4.59). … USC tied for seventh in the Pac-12 with a balanced attack headed by freshman Khalia Lanier (465 kills). Lanier and middle blocker Elise Ruddins were named to the Pac-12 all-conference team this week.