Losing to No. 20 Northwestern on Sunday wasn’t the only downside to the Gophers’ weekend on the road.
The team also dropped from No. 16 to No. 19 in the AVCA top-25 rankings, falling behind No. 15 Michigan for the first time this season.
It wasn’t the only mix-up in the top-25 rankings. For the first time this season, 8th-ranked Illinois nudged out No. 9 Penn State—the defending national champion—to become the top-ranked Big Ten team.
But like almost all coaches you talk to, Gophers head coach Mike Hebert isn’t too worried about it.
“By no means is [the Big Ten] going to stay the same as it is right now in terms of the standings,” head coach Mike Hebert said. “I think almost [every Big Ten team] is still in it.”
That includes the 14-4 Gophers, who are currently tied for fourth place in the Big Ten with unranked Purdue.
“I don’t think we are comfortable yet but I think the team is on the way to feeling that way,” Hebert said. “Obviously a successful weekend—win or lose, if we play well—that’s going to give us a real shot of confidence.”
It won’t be easy for the Gophers. The team has a challenging weekend ahead of them, taking on both Penn State and Ohio State on the road.
Both teams lost last weekend—setting them back to sixth and seventh place in the Big Ten, respectively.
“Certainly we expect Penn State and Ohio State both to be better than the teams that just went 0-2 last weekend because they will both be at home,” Hebert said.
With 14 matches remaining in conference play, home-court advantage has become a crucial element in Big Ten competition.
Three of the Gophers’ losses have come on the road, while Illinois—the top-ranked team in the Big Ten—has suffered all three of their losses on the road as well.
“Any win on the road is going to be good,” Hebert said. “Most teams who are going to finish in the top group are going to win a few on the road. If we were to come home with a split, I’d be pretty happy.”
After the Gophers finish up their weekend on the road, they have two weeks of matches at home—starting off with Big Ten leader Illinois on Oct. 22.
“[Our home games] will be super important,” Wittman said. “When we get to be here, we definitely want to defend our own home court.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
When UMN students plan for a vacation, having trip cancellation travel insurance is a worthwhile commodity to check out.
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