Volleyball team wins Big Ten title

December 1, 2015
Gopher volleyball players celebrate in a match against Ohio State.

The No. 4-ranked University of Minnesota volleyball team continued its improbable bounce-back season in high style, capturing the Big Ten Conference championship outright with a win at Indiana on Nov. 28.

The title is the first for the Gophers since 2002 and just the second in program history. Minnesota finished the season with an 18-2 record in league play, which included a program-record 15-match winning streak spanning nearly two months. The record bettered the U’s previous best of 17-3 in the conference, which happened in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006. Heading into the season, the Gophers were picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten.

Now it’s on to the NCAA Tournament. Minnesota secured the overall No. 2 seed and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with straight-set wins over Jackson State and Marquette on Dec. 4 and 5. The Gophers now move on the semifinals of the Des Moines Region and will face Big Ten foe Illinois on Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. The winner will play the following day for an opportunity to advance to the Final Four. 

The No. 2 overall seed is the highest for the Golden Gophers in school history, topping the previous best of No. 4 in 2004. USC holds the overall No. 1, followed by the Gophers, No. 3 Texas, and No. 4 Nebraska. Minnesota is now 28-4 overall this year and finished a perfect 15-0 at home.