Minnesota Golden Gophers women's volleyball

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Minnesota Golden Gophers
women's volleyball
Minnesota Golden Gophers logo.svg
University University of Minnesota
Head coach Hugh McCutcheon (Fourth season)
Conference Big Ten
Location Minneapolis, MN
Home arena Sports Pavilion (Capacity: 5,700)
Nickname Golden Gophers
Colors Maroon and Gold[1]
AIAW and NCAA Tournament runner up
AIAW and NCAA Tournament Final Four
2003, 2004, 2009, 2015, 2016
AIAW and NCAA Tournament appearances
1989, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
Conference regular season champions
2002, 2015

Minnesota Golden Gophers volleyball is the NCAA Division I women's volleyball team at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The program began its first season in 1972 under head coach Dee Jilek. Its current head coach is Hugh McCutcheon, who took over the team after the 2012 Olympics. Previous coach Mike Hebert had led the Golden Gophers to every NCAA Tournament, with the exception of 1998, when he was head coach of the team. His tenure was highlighted by back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances in 2003 and 2004. Hebert also led Minnesota the program's first Big Ten title in 2002.

At the conclusion of the 2010 season, Hebert announced his retirement.

Final Four appearances[edit]


Even with a 13 overall tournament seed, Minnesota beat Washington in the regional final in five games to advance to the school's first NCAA Final Four. In the national semifinals, Minnesota played top ranked and undefeated Southern California tough, but fell in three games. Minnesota was led by Cassie Busse with 23 kills and Erin Martin with 11.[2]


The tournament's #4 overall seed, Minnesota defeated fifth-seeded Ohio State in the regional final to advance to their second straight national semifinal. Once again, they met Southern California, but the outcome was different than the previous year. Behind 18 kills from Minnesota's Erin Martin, the Golden Gophers defeated the two-time defending NCAA Champions in four games to advance to the programs first NCAA National Championship.

In the final against Stanford, Minnesota could not stop Ogonna Nnamani and struggled to find an offensive rhythm, falling in three straight games to finish as national runners-up. Despite leaving the match against Stanford with a neck injury, Minnesota All-American libero Paula Gentil set an NCAA tournament record for digs in the NCAA tournament with 173 total in six matches.


Minnesota, the 11th seed, earned its third Final Four appearance since 2003 by defeating 3rd seeded Florida State 3–1 (25–20, 25–7, 18–25, 25–17). This appearance marks the second time Minnesota has qualified for the Final Four via playing on its home court: "The Sports Pavilion" – the first time occurred during the 2004 tournament. Minnesota was knocked out of the National Semifinals by Texas in three sets.


After a frustrating 2014 season that saw the Golden Gophers miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998, Minnesota started the season unranked in the AVCA preseason poll,[3] and was picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten.[4] Under the stewardship of Big Ten Coach of the Year[5] and AVCA Coach of the Year[6] Hugh McCutcheon, and led by the play of four AVCA All-Americans,[7] Minnesota trumped all expectations, on its way to an 18–2 Big Ten conference record that was the best in its history and earned the program its second ever Big Ten conference championship, the first one since 2002.[8] The Golden Gophers entered the NCAA Tournament with a 26–4 record that earned them the top seed in their bracket and the No. 2 overall seed. After dropping just one set in regional play,[9] Minnesota arrived at the Final Four in Omaha, Nebraska,[10] where it lost in the National Semifinals to the Texas Longhorns.[11]


A list of first, second, or third team AVCA All-American volleyball players.[12]

  • 1996 – Katrien DeDecker (1st team)
  • 1999 – Nicole Branagh (2nd team)
  • 2000 – Nicole Branagh (2nd team); Stephanie Hagen (2nd team)
  • 2002 – Cassie Busse (2nd team); Paula Gentil (3rd team)
  • 2003 – Cassie Busse (1st team); Paula Gentil (2nd team)
  • 2004 – Kelly Bowman (1st team); Paula Gentil (1st team); Erin Martin (honorable mention)
  • 2006 – Meredith Nelson (2nd team)
  • 2008 – Brook Dieter (2nd team); Lauren Gibbemeyer (3rd team)
  • 2009 – Lauren Gibbemeyer(1st team); Taylor Carico (3rd team)
  • 2011 – Ashley Wittman (2nd team); Tori Dixon (honorable mention)
  • 2012 – Katherine Harms (1st team); Tori Dixon (2nd team); Ashley Wittman (honorable mention)
  • 2015 – Hannah Tapp (1st team); Daly Santana (1st team); Samantha Selinger-Swenson (2nd team); Paige Tapp (3rd team)

Season-by-season results[edit]

Season Coach Record Postseason
Overall Conference
(Conf. Standing)
1972 Dee Jelik 8–3
1973 Dee Jelik 16–11
1974 Linda Wells 31–6–1
1975 Rosie Wegrich 35–13
1976 Rosie Wegrich 36–17–1
1977 Linda Wells 43–21–2
1978 Linda Wells 58–14
1979 Linda Wells 39–16–2
1980 Linda Wells 37–19
1981 Linda Wells 37–19 8–6 (4th)
1982 Stephanie Schleuder 23–9 8–5 (T-2nd-West)
1983 Stephanie Schleuder 15–16 6–7 (3rd-West)
1984 Stephanie Schleuder 16–16 4–9 (4th-West)
1985 Stephanie Schleuder 22–12 11–7 (4th)
1986 Stephanie Schleuder 21–11 13–5 (2nd)
1987 Stephanie Schleuder 24–11 12–6 (3rd)
1988 Stephanie Schleuder 21–10 11–7 (T-2nd)
1989 Stephanie Schleuder 29–9 13–5 (T-2nd) NCAA Second Round
1990 Stephanie Schleuder 8–26 2–16 (9th)
1991 Stephanie Schleuder 14–16 11–8 (5th)
1992 Stephanie Schleuder 25–12 13–7 (4th)
1993 Stephanie Schleuder 14–10 14–6 (T-3rd) NCAA Regional Semifinal
1994 Stephanie Schleuder 21–15 10–10 (6th)
1995 Pam Miller-Dombeck 13–17 7–13 (8th)
1996 Mike Hebert 24–11 14–6 (4th) NCAA Second Round
1997 Mike Hebert 23–10 12–8 (T-5th) NCAA Second Round
1998 Mike Hebert 17–14 7–13 (8th)
1999 Mike Hebert 27–9 15–5 (2nd) NCAA Regional Semifinal
2000 Mike Hebert 30–4 17–3 (2nd) NCAA Regional Semifinal
2001 Mike Hebert 19–13 10–10 (T-6th) NCAA Second Round
2002 Mike Hebert 32–6 17–3 (1st) NCAA Regional Semifinal
2003 Mike Hebert 26–11 15–5 (T-2nd) NCAA Final Four
2004 Mike Hebert 33–5 17–3 (T-2nd) NCAA Runners-Up
2005 Mike Hebert 25–8 14–6 (T-3rd) NCAA Second Round
2006 Mike Hebert 26–8 17–3 (T-2nd) NCAA Regional Final
2007 Mike Hebert 18–13 11–9 (T-3rd) NCAA First Round
2008 Mike Hebert 27–7 16–4 (2nd) NCAA Second Round
2009 Mike Hebert 28–9 15–5 (3rd) NCAA Final Four
2010 Mike Hebert 26–9 14–6 (T-2nd) NCAA Regional Semifinal
2011 Laura Bush 20–12 11–9 (5th) NCAA Regional Semifinal
2012 Hugh McCutcheon 27–8 15–5 (3rd) NCAA Regional Final
2013 Hugh McCutcheon 29–7 15–5 (3rd) NCAA Regional Semifinal
2014 Hugh McCutcheon 19–12 9–11 (8th)
2015 Hugh McCutcheon 30–5 18–2 (1st) NCAA Final Four

See also[edit]


External links[edit]