Strong 2009 campaign carries into spring games

Minnesota has had a brief preview of next season’s talent.

Aleutian Calabay

After an extremely successful 2009 season ending with a run to the Final Four, the Minnesota volleyball team continued its strong play into the spring schedule. Though the games do not count toward the regular season, the Gophers are making the best of their off-season games. After starting the spring with wins over Calgary and Arizona State the previous weekend, Minnesota swept through the Iowa State Tournament on Saturday. The Gophers beat North Dakota State 25-20, 25-20; Northern Iowa 32-30, 25-17; Kansas State 25-17, 25-22 and Iowa State 25-16, 25-18. The Gophers have yet to lose a set this spring. âÄúWeâÄôre learning how to play better,âÄù Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert said. âÄúWeâÄôre in control of what weâÄôre trying to do. WeâÄôre not trying anything too dramatic, just playing solid volleyball.âÄù The off-season games have also given Minnesota a first look at incoming freshman outside hitter Ashley Wittman, 2009-10 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year. âÄúWittman is doing very well,âÄù Hebert said. âÄúShe is a very solid player who will continue to grow. She has been contributing significantly to what weâÄôve been doing.âÄù The Gophers will soon be facing some tougher competition as they host Texas, the team that knocked them out of the Final Four last season, Saturday, April 10 at 7 p.m.