Minnesota volleyball pre-game notes vs. Illinois

Mark Heise

Mark Heise (6:40:25 PM):Krista Chin! You’re back in action here with us, after two weeks of road trips and two absences due to time conflicts… do you remember how to do this job after such a long break?
Krista Chin (6:41:24 PM): I believe I do remember how to do this job. I know it’s part of your job, but it’s not as though it is hard or anything! I’m looking forward to being back in the gym here tonight and seeing how the girls have developed over the last few weeks!
Mark Heise (6:43:53 PM): Thanks for the second slight at my work in the last 24 hours… Development may not be the correct word though, maybe "healed" would make more sense! This team has been banged up, with some key players missing out on practice time
Krista Chin (6:46:38 PM): Yes, injuries have been tough over the last few weeks. Senior Kelly Schmidt and sophomore Lauren Gibbemeyer have been held out of practice for the last two weeks with injuries. This makes practices tough since the pin hitters are taking more and more swings, which could potentially lead to further injury. Senior Kyla Roehrig has been welcomed back to practice this week, but having two middle blockers out of practice does not allow setter Rachel Hartmann to work on connections with them.
Mark Heise (6:51:44 PM): very true. However, this didn’t seem to affect the team too much yesterday, as Gibbemeyer, Roehrig and Schmidt all contributed in the three-set sweep of Purdue. Minnesota got everyone involved in the match last night, spreading the ball around very well. Against a tougher Illinois team that took the Gophers to five sets in the first match, how important will a continuation of this balanced offense be tonight?
Krista Chin (6:56:42 PM): It’s going to be extremely important. Roehrig, Schmidt, and Gibbemeyer will need to play at the top of their game tonight. Illinois does not have as many weapons as the Gophers, however, they play good defense and are a smart team. Illinois is a well-coached team, and they will definitely bring their best play against the Gophers, as they always seem to do.
Mark Heise (6:58:10 PM): Talk about DeBruler, the top offensive weapon on this Illinois team
Krista Chin (7:01:14 PM): DeBruler has taken an enormous amount of swings for the Illini this year. She is their go-to hitter who hits with authority and a lot of confidence. Last night against the Hawkeyes, she took 45 swings in a four set win. She has taken more swings than any other player on her team, 564 attempts, with the next player having 378 attempts.
Mark Heise (7:02:16 PM): She also is second in the conference in points per set at 5.12, and kills per set, at 4.58. It should be interesting to see how the Gophers try to slow her down.

Krista Chin (7:05:02 PM): I think the Gophers will try to serve her tough and force her to pass more balls. This is a strategy that could potentially take her out of her rhythm.

Mark Heise (7:06:01 PM): Well, if she’s right, you’ve heard it here first… Here’s the starting lineup for tonight
MB: Lauren Gibbemeyer
OH: Brook Dieter
MB: Kelly Schmidt
S: Rachel Hartmann
OH: Pamela Luiz
OH: Kyla Roehrig
L: Christine Tan