Minnesota volleyball pregame notes with Krista Chin

Mark Heise

Mark Heise (6:34:50 PM):We’re back at the nice, warm Sports Pavilion for the match between Minnesota and Indiana, and the first thing we need to point out is that Assistant Athletic Communications Director Steve Geller has once again shown his age Krista Chin (6:35:49 PM): Well, Mark, I suppose he has. He was the first to answer the crossword clue of “Richie’s Mom, to Fonzie.” Gosh, I know we can always depend on Geller for answers to those tough ones! Mark Heise (6:39:34 PM): Tough ones, or maybe just old ones? Krista Chin (6:39:57 PM): Yeah, old ones. Much better… Mark Heise (6:40: 08 PM): Moving on, as the Gophers once again drill on defense as a part of their pregame, we’ll take a moment to scout Indiana. The Hoosiers are coming in with a 1-3 conference record thus far, but one plus for the team is the fact that they have 3 middle blockers who can all hit the ball. Senior Erica Short has been the mainstay of this team for the last 3 years, and has moved to hitting from the outside this year. What do you remember from her Krista? Krista Chin (6:42:09 PM): Short is a very good player. She has matured as not only a player but as a leader for her Indiana team. She is an explosive player with a large range of shots. It will be interesting to see how she reacts to the huge wall the Gophers put up with Lauren Gibbemeyer and Kyla Roehrig. Mark Heise (6:44:14 PM): She will likely be facing that double block when she’s in. This is the Hoosiers’ first road match of the season, ending a 4-game homestand with a win after starting off 0-3. One of those losses came to Purdue in five sets, a team Minnesota swept on the road. Does this give us any hints to how this match may shape up? Krista Chin (6:48:03 PM): It does give us some hints as to how this match will shape up, but the Gophers cannot overlook any team. Indiana could come out and play as if it were their National Championship and take a set off the Gophers too. The fact that Indiana did take two sets off of Purdue leads the Gophers to believe they are a feisty and tenacious team who is persistent. They do not give up. It also gives a slight hint about Purdue as well… Mark Heise (6:52:09 PM): That’s true. Talk about Indiana’s defense. Minnesota is anchored by libero Christine Tan, who was kind enough to be featured once again in “Off Topic” this week. Does Indiana have anyone of this caliber? Krista Chin (6:54:16 PM): Indiana does not have anyone up to the caliber of Tan, but they do have their own defensive whiz who, like Tan, has reached 1,000 digs. Senior Juli Pierce is a good competitor who leads the Hoosier defense. She is one the Gophers will want to avoid serving and hitting to. Mark Heise (6:57:04 PM): We can’t have a complete pregame blog without at least mentioning the possibilities of tomorrow. With a win tonight, the Gophers would head into tomorrow’s match against No. 1 Penn State as the only other unbeaten conference team. That said, how big is this match for Minnesota’s confidence tomorrow? Krista Chin (6:59:27 PM): This match is huge for the Gophers. With a dominating win tonight, Minnesota will walk into tomorrow confident and well-prepared. After talking with many of the Gophers this week, they seemed not only anxious for the match, but excited to play such a competitive team in Williams Arena. They are looking for a huge crowd to back them up when they go for the upset against the Nittany Lions. Mark Heise (7:01:11 PM): As long as we’re talking about tomorrow, I think I will take the opportunity, as we wait for the lineups, to wish my sister a happy early 24th birthday. I’ll wish her a real one tomorrow as well, on the off chance that any of my family reads these blogs. Krista Chin (7:02:56 PM): Happy Birthday Jean! STARTING LINEUP DS: Hailey Cowles MB: Lauren Gibbemeyer OH: Brook Dieter MB: Kelly Schmidt S: Rachel Hartmann OH: Pamela Luiz L: Christine Tan