vs. Penn State • 7 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Sunday • BTN, KFAN Plus both days
Unbeaten, top-10 teams meet
Gophers update: The No. 5 Gophers (6-0) return home after playing on the road the past two weekends. Last weekend, the Gophers fell behind 2-1 each night before rallying for 3-2 victories over then-No. 13 Purdue. Senior hitter Stephanie Samedy had 48 kills in the two matches and was named Big Ten and national player of the week. She currently ranks 15th among active Division I players in career kills (1,281). Freshman Melani Shaffmaster was named Big Ten setter of the week after averaging 11.3 assists per set against the Boilermakers. She had 60 assists and 12 digs last Friday against Purdue. The Gophers lead the Big Ten in digs per set — 17.1. Gophers coach Hugh McCutcheon said libero CC McGraw practiced this week and might play this weekend. McGraw left the court midway through last Friday's match at Purdue because of an unspecified medical issue.
Penn State: The No. 8 Nittany Lions (2-0) had the start of their season delayed for two weeks because of COVID-19 concerns. Penn State opened last weekend with 3-1 and 3-2 victories over visiting Illinois. The first victory was the 1,300th for Nittany Lions coach Russ Rose, who is in his 42nd season. He has won seven NCAA and 17 Big Ten titles. Outside hitter Annie Cate Fitzpatrick, a 5-11 freshman, leads Penn State with 30 kills. The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series with the Gophers 48-12, but the Gophers won the last meeting — a four-setter on Nov. 30, 2019. It was the Gophers' first road win vs. Penn State since 2004.