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The Gophers' Big Three

The Gophers' Big Three Minnesota, 26-6 overall and ranked 10th nationally, are led by three All-Big Ten Conference selections with sophomores Lauren Gibbemeyer and Brook Dieter and junior Christine Tan Lauren Gibbemeyer 6-foot-2 sophomore hitter St.

Brook Dieter

The Gophers' Big Three

Minnesota, 26-6 overall and ranked 10th nationally, are led by three All-Big Ten Conference selections with sophomores Lauren Gibbemeyer and Brook Dieter and junior Christine Tan

Lauren Gibbemeyer

6-foot-2 sophomore hitter

St. Paul (Cretin-DerhamHall)

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- Ranks 13th nationally in blocks per set (1.42).

- "She's probably our most competitive player," said Minnesota coach Mike Hebert. "She goes up against offensively and defensively the opponents' best players."

- "She is a very similar player to our Chrissy Knuth," said NDSU coach Erich Hinterstocker. "She is definitely going to hit some sharp, fast angles."

Brook Dieter

6-foot-1 sophomore hitter

Bloomington (Kennedy)

- Second on the team in kills to Gibbemeyer, Dieter has missed the last four matches with a severely sprained ankle.

- "It's unlikely that she will play against North Dakota State," Hebert said. "We play differently without her but we have still won."

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- "She definitely brings another dimension to their offense," Hinterstocker said. "She is their best offensive weapon in my opinion."

Christine Tan

5-foot-4 junior libero

Palm Harbor, Fla.

- Ranks 30th nationally in digs per set (4.91).

- "She comes from a volleyball family that played on the beach every day," Hebert said. "She is a fearless defender who reads the court extremely well."

- "The advantage she has is the amount of court she can cover," Hinterstocker said. "She can go

and get the ball. She has a lot of nice range."

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The Bison's Big Three Keys

North Dakota State, 24-3 overall and riding a 19-match winning streak, needs to fullfill three parts

of its game to have a chance at upsetting Minnesota, according to coach Erich Hinterstocker

1. Quality first touch

- "Our location on passing and digging and serving as well will be critical," Hinterstocker said. "We need a good first touch to give us more options offensively."

2. Offensive tempo

- "We need to counteract their

size with some speed," Hinterstocker said. "Obviously, in order to be fast you've got to be able to control the ball."

3. Aggressive defense

- "We need to have an offensive mindset on defense," Hinterstocker said. "We need to earn points at the net blocking. We have to turn defensive chances into points."

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