Gophers rank No. 14 in AVCA poll for third straight week

Charlie Armitz

Minnesota’s volleyball team remained at No. 14 in Monday’s American Volleyball Coaches Association poll for a third consecutive week after sweeping Iowa and losing in five sets to Nebraska over the weekend.

Nebraska, which has won its last 13 matches and is undefeated in conference play (8-0) moved up one spot to No. 4. Illinois, the other undefeated team in conference at 8-0, remained No. 1.

The logic of poll voters appears to be that a team does not move unless it records an upset win or loss. Nebraska, which was expected to go 2-0 over the weekend, was able to move up a spot because then-No. 2 Washington went 0-2 and dropped to No. 7.

According to that logic, the Gophers would move up in next week’s poll with wins over unranked Wisconsin and No. 12 Purdue. A split would likely leave them in the 13-15 range, while an 0-2 weekend would probably drop them out of the top-15.

Minnesota (11-6 overall, 4-4 Big Ten) is the only team in the top-15 with more than five losses. However, its schedule has been one of the toughest in the nation — the Gophers have played five teams ranked in the top-5 at the time of the match, and are set to play two more (at Illinois on Oct. 29, at Nebraska on Nov. 16).

Penn State (No. 9), Michigan (No. 21) and Ohio State (No. 23) round out the seven Big Ten teams in the poll.

Gibbemeyer wins second Pan Am Games match

Ex-Gophers volleyball star Lauren Gibbemeyer led Team USA with 13 points in its 25-19, 25-15, 25-19 win over Peru on Sunday at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Gibbemeyer had four blocks for the Americans to follow her six-block performance in their win over Puerto Rico on Saturday.

The United States will play their third and final group match Monday at 7 p.m. against Mexico. If the team wins, it will play again on Oct. 19 in a semifinal match. The winner of that match will play in the final on Oct. 20.