Goehner, Lohman win gold on Europe tour

The pair took part in the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships in July.

Carissa Polo

Two members of the Gophers volleyball team traded the Sports Pavilion for the international court last month and came home gold medal-winners.

Juniors Alyssa Goehner and Molly Lohman competed with the U.S. Collegiate National Europe Tour team in Italy and Croatia July 6-16.

“I think it’s always great when some Minnesota volleyball players represent USA, but also to have the opportunity to get better before season,” Goehner said. “I think it makes for a better team.”

The European Tour is part of USA Volleyball’s high performance pipeline, which focuses on developing players from the youth stage through potential international play.

Goehner is no stranger to international competition. Last summer she played on the Big Ten Conference Foreign Tour. The team had matches and community service opportunities in Croatia, Slovenia and Italy.

This time around was unique for Goehner. Though she’d seen the destinations, she served a different role with USA Volleyball. Goehner plays outside hitter for the Gophers, but was rostered as a libero with the Europe team.

“I just got to just focus on trusting little aspects of my game,” Goehner said. “Like being stopped on defense and getting better angles on the serve-receive.”

Goehner said she brushed up on the minute details of her game and looked to improve all around during her time with the Europe team.

“I don’t think that one skill was made a ton better,” Lohman said. “I think that a ton [of skills] were worked on a lot and it’ll be good to bring back here [to the University of Minnesota].”

Lohman is also a veteran on the international circuit. Last summer she played on the USA Volleyball China Tour team with teammates Hannah Tapp and Sarah Wilhite.

Lohman’s experience showed this time around. The middle blocker helped lead her team to an undefeated streak in the first three days of play in the Croatia Global Challenge.

Team USA made a comeback in the gold medal match and won three straight sets over China to win the Global Challenge title. Lohman was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

The two will be upperclassmen with the Gophers this year, and while they’re more familiar with their Minnesota teammates, they’ll use the leadership experience they learned in Europe going forward.

“We didn’t get to play together for a long time,” Lohman said. “Everyone kind of has to be their own leader, and you have to figure out how to play together really fast.”