Minnesota Golden Gophers women's volleyball

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Minnesota Volleyball
Minnesota Volleyball athletic logo

University University of Minnesota
Conference Big Ten
Location Minneapolis, MN
Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Second year)
Arena Sports Pavilion
(Capacity: 5,700)
Nickname Golden Gophers
Colors Maroon and Gold


AIAW and NCAA Tournament Runner Up
AIAW and NCAA Tournament Final Four
2003, 2004, 2009
AIAW and NCAA Tournament Appearances
1989, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Conference Regular Season Champions

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.[1]


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.


A list of first, second, or third team AVCA All-American volleyball players.[2]

  • 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)
  • 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)

Season-by-season results[edit]


External links[edit]