Minneapolis Regional

Where: Sports Pavilion

TV: ESPNU will televise Friday’s second match and Saturday’s final. A video stream of Friday’s first match will be available on ESPN3.

Tickets: All-session ticket packages are sold out. Single-match tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at www.mygophersports.com or 1-800-UGOPHER.

Friday’s semifinals

No. 1 Gophers (27-4) vs. No. 18 Missouri (27-5), 7:15 p.m.

The Gophers opened the tournament last weekend with home sweeps of North Dakota and Hawaii, No. 12 in the AVCA poll, to reach a regional semifinal for the eighth time. They have won 12 consecutive matches and 34 in a row at the Sports Pavilion. Senior Sarah Wilhite, who leads the team with 4.18 kills per set, had 30 kills in the first two matches of the tournament as the Gophers hit .348. Setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson is averaging 13.33 assists per set in postseason play, and her season average of 11.55 ranks eighth nationally. The Tigers, like the Gophers, are a balanced, fast and heady team. The SEC champions have lost only twice in their past 24 matches and reached the Sweet Sixteen with a 3-0 victory over Northern Illinois and a 3-1 win over Purdue. Junior Melanie Crow hit .393 with 42 kills in those two matches.

 

No. 6 North Carolina (29-3) vs. No. 8 UCLA (26-6), 9:45 p.m.

The Tar Heels, who are 21-1 in their past 22 matches, won a school-record 19 conference matches on their way to a 13th ACC title. They defeated High Point and Coastal Carolina to reach the regional semifinal. ACC player of the year Taylor Leath leads the team with 354 kills, and Julia Scoles, the league’s freshman of the year, has 293 kills and 244 digs. UCLA is making its third consecutive appearance in the regional semifinals after beating Murray State and Baylor to open the tournament. Pac-12 libero of the year Taylor Formico leads the league with an average of 5.07 digs per set.

saturday’s final

Friday’s winners will play at 9 p.m. for a berth in the Final Four.

RACHEL BLOUNT