Hugh McCutcheon coaches the Gophers

USA Today Sports Images

Gopher volleyball at Target Center Friday, and hope to get back there in NCAA's

Downtown Minneapolis arena to host D1 volleyball national final

August 24, 2018 - 6:55 am

The Gopher women's volleyball team opens the 2018 season at the place they want to be when it all ends.

Friday night is the Big Ten/ACC volleyball challenge at Target Center, the site of the 2018 NCAA volleyball national final.

The opening night matches are the Gophers against Florida State at 7 p.m., right after Wisconsin takes on North Carolina.

The Gophers and Badgers switch opponents for Saturday's early-season tournament's final day.

"That would be a dream come true, that would be the best thing," said Samantha Seliger-Swenson about the chance of playing in the national final so close to campus. "The thing that's going to get us there is taking it one at a time, and things will happen."

Seliger-Swenson is a senior who played prep volleyball at Hopkins.

The Gophers last season finished 28-6 under head coach Hugh McCutcheon, including 15-5 in the Big Ten.

They beat North Dakota and Northern Iowa at Maturi Sports Pavilion to open the NCAA tournament before falling to Southern California in the Sweet 16 at Gainesville, Fla.

This is the seventh season for McCutcheon, who is 162-43 at Minnesota and coached the Gophers to the Final Four in 2015 and 2016. 

He also led the US to the silver medal at the 2012 summer Olympics in London.