Coach Mike Hebert's 13th-ranked Golden Gophers take on Wisconsin-Green Bay Friday night at the Sports Pavilion in the first round of the NCAA volleyball tournament.
Friday's first match between No. 20 Cal-Santa Barbara and No. 16 Northern Iowa will start at 5 p.m., with the Gophers-Phoenix match to follow. The two winners will meet Saturday at 7 p.m. for the right to advance to the round of 16 in Long Beach, Calif.
The Gophers (22-10) are the No. 4 seed in their region, behind Pepperdine, Stanford and Washington. To reach Long Beach, they'll have to get past the 23-10 Phoenix, then knock off a ranked team on Saturday.
"Wisconsin-Green Bay's style is similar to Ohio State, in that they have a very dominant outside hitter that they set a lot," Hebert said. "They also like to run their middle a lot, particularly in transition. They like to keep their opponents off-balance with a variety of attack styles in pushing the ball to open parts of the court. They are very feisty. I like how they play. Wisconsin-Green Bay is a very crafty team and will be challenging to play."
Minnesota is led by Big Ten Player of the Year Cassie Busse and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Paula Gentil.
The Gophers' matches will be broadcast locally on KCCO-AM 950.
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