Women’s hoops off to record start

Minnesota women’s basketball team defeated High Point 93-69 on Sunday in High Point, N.C., to set a record for the best start in school history at 8-1. The eight victories also match the win total from the entire 2000-01 season.

“We won another test on the road,” coach Brenda Oldfield said. “For our first challenge we did very nicely in coming away with two victories. Our intensity was great this weekend.”

Five Gophers scored in double figures against High Point, led by Lindsay Whalen with 14 points. Kadidja Andersson and Kim Prince chipped in 13 points apiece. Janel McCarville and Ozlem Piroglu came off the bench to contribute 12 and 10 points, respectively. A total of 12 Gophers broke into the scoring column. McCarville tallied the first double-double of her career, pulling down a team-high 12 rebounds.

The Gophers shot 51.4 percent for the game and hit 17-of-25 free throws.

“We didn’t play very aggressive against VCU and let them stay in the game but against High Point we established ourselves early,” Oldfield said.

On Friday, the Gophers
survived a second-half Virginia Commonwealth barrage of three-pointers and overcame 29 turnovers to hang on for a 79-70 victory in Richmond, Va.

Whalen scored 16 of her game-high 25 points in the first half as the Gophers built a 43-23 halftime lead. Minnesota, who shot 74 percent making 14 of 19 shots, also suffered 18 first-half turnovers.

The Gophers next action is Dec. 22, when they host Loyola-Chicago at 1 p.m. in the Sports Pavilion.

Wrestling sweeps

Minnesota’s wrestling team traveled east over the weekend and won both of its dual meets on Saturday.

The defending national champions dominated Virginia Tech in their first dual of the day 41-9, then followed with a 41-6 drubbing of James Madison a few hours later.

“They had to get up twice in one day and wrestle hard, and they did that,” coach J Robinson said. “It was good continuation from Hofstra – they were aggressive and they wrestled hard, and that’s what we wanted.”

Robinson said the two meets were scheduled on the same day to make things “artificially hard” on his squad. Wrestling twice in one day gave the Gophers early preparation for nationals, where they must also wrestle multiple times on the same day.

Minnesota only dropped one match in the two meets combined, but gave up six points in each by forfeiting at 133 pounds. Ryan Lewis, who upset first-ranked Johnny Thompson of Oklahoma State last weekend at 133, was out with a pulled groin.

In the early meets, both teams turned in an upset. Senior Chad Erikson, ranked third, upset the Hokies second-ranked Sean Gray 17-7 at 141 pounds.

“I just created my style,” Erikson said. “I wanted to get in some scrambles with him early and try to take the wind out of him a little bit. I got in some of those positions and scored some big points off of him.”

The other upset went in favor of Virginia Tech. Sixth-ranked Scott Justus pulled off a sudden-death overtime victory over fifth-ranked Damion Hahn at 184 pounds. Hahn lost to Justus in the first round at the NCAA championships last season.

Against James Madison, Jared Lawrence, Luke Becker, Nate Baker, and Garrett Lowney all pinned their opponents. Owen Elzen and Leroy Vega both earned major decisions.

ï On Monday afternoon, the 2001 NCAA Champion Minnesota wrestling team will visit the White House in Washington, D.C. Each of last seasons 10 All-Americans, head coach J Robinson, and other staff members will be in attendance, and will likely meet with President George W. Bush in recognition of the school’s first wrestling national team title.

“I think it’s awesome any time when you can get recognition for what we did,” Erikson said. “It’s great for the program and great for wrestling.”

-Anthony Maggio, Staff Reporter

Hockey loses two

Minnesota’s women’s hockey team dropped a pair of games to the U.S. National Team over the weekend. After a 16-0 win on Friday, the National Team won 6-0 over the Gophers on Saturday. Team USA is now 17-0-0 on the tour to Salt Lake City.

“I felt good about the improvement from the first game to the second game,” coach Laura Halldorson said. “It was almost predictable, but still disappointing that we didn’t compete like we hoped we would on Friday.”

The second-ranked Gophers held the U.S. National Team scoreless in the second stanza of Saturday’s game. Gopher goaltender Brenda Reinen had 41 saves in the first two periods. Reinen ended the contest with 51 saves in the game, while Jody Horak came in after the fifth goal and had 11 saves.

Reinen was named the Most Valuable Player as well as the Minnesota Player of the Game.

The Gophers, who are ranked second in the US College Hockey Online poll, return to WCHA action next Friday hosting St. Cloud State.

Berg, Hagen honored

Minnesota seniors Lindsey Berg and Stephanie Hagen were named to the AVCA All-Mideast Region first team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Both Berg and Hagen received AVCA All-Region honors in 1999 and 2000 before being named to this year’s team.

Berg, the Gophers’ starting setter for four years, accumulated 5,913 career assists, good for third place on the Minnesota and Big Ten all- time lists. Berg is the only player to lead the Big Ten in service aces in consecutive seasons, and did so in every year of her career.

During her senior campaign, Berg collected 1,314 assists and 76 service aces. She is a three-time AVCA All-Region honoree, a three-time All-Big Ten award winner, and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten team member.

Hagen finished her career with 1,425 kills, placing her sixth on Minnesota’s all-time list. Her career attack percentage of 36.6 ranks first in Gopher history, and ties her for fifth place in the Big Ten record books.

She led the Gophers in kills (411), kills per game (3.51), and attack percentage (39.5) in 2001. Hagen is a 2000 AVCA second-team All-America honoree, a three-time AVCA All-Region award winner, a three-time All-Big Ten selection, and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten team member.

The Gophers finished the 2001 season with a 19-13 overall record, 10-10 in Big Ten play. Minnesota made its third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, and advanced to the second round. Minnesota owns an impressive 84-37 (.694) record during the four-year tenure of Berg and Hagen.

Homecoming set

Minnesota’s football team will play its 2002 homecoming game against Northwestern on Oct. 12 at the Metrodome.