The No. 4-ranked Gophers volleyball team opened its season Friday afternoon in impressive fashion, sweeping North Carolina 25-16, 25-7, 25-20 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Madison, Wis. The Tar Heels were No. 11 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s preseason poll.
Stephanie Samedy, a 6-2 freshman from Clermont, Fla., had 14 kills to lead Minnesota while sophomore Alexis Hart had nine. Senior middle blocker Molly Lohman had five kills and seven blocks. Junior setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson had 35 assists, five digs and three aces.
The Gophers hit .281 to UNC’s .009 and outblocked the ACC favorites 11.5 to 5.5. Minnesota improved to 9-1 all-time against the Tar Heels.
Minnesota will play Louisville at 4 p.m. Saturday on the second day of the tournament.