6 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday vs. Illinois Streamed on BTN Plus (subscription service) and Fox 9 Plus
U to play after 19-day break for virus issues
Gophers update: This weekend's matches will be the first in 19 days for the No. 5 Gophers (9-1), who had series against Michigan and Ohio State postponed by COVID concerns. Last weekend's set against the Buckeyes was called off because of issues in the Gophers' program, and coach Hugh McCutcheon said the team took four days off before resuming practice Monday. McCutcheon was uncertain whether any players would miss this weekend's matches but said "the group overall is pretty healthy.'' Before the COVID interruption, the Gophers split a series at No. 4 Nebraska, winning the first match 3-1 and dropping the second 3-0. Stephanie Samedy leads the Big Ten in kills per set (4.53), CC McGraw is second in digs per set (4.35).
Illinois update: A withering schedule has taken a toll on the Illini (2-8), who have lost their past eight matches. After winning a pair against Iowa, Illinois has faced No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 9 Penn State, undefeated Ohio State and No. 4 Nebraska; matches against Northwestern and Michigan State were postponed. The Illini won just seven sets in their eight defeats and were swept twice by Nebraska last weekend. Though the Illini lead the Big Ten with 1.95 aces per set, they are hitting only .177. Illinois is led by outside hitter Megan Cooney (3.59 kills per set) and middle blocker Rylee Hinton (1.28 blocks per set).