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Winning streak vaults Gophers volleyball to No. 1 in poll

For the first time since 2004, the Gophers volleyball team is ranked No. 1.

University of Minnesota volleyball is the No. 1 ranked team in the nation.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced the Gophers climbed to the top of this week's poll after Nebraska, the previous No. 1, was beaten on Saturday.

It's the first time in 12 years (Sept. 27, 2004), the Gophers have been ranked No. 1.

Minnesota picked up a pair of road sweeps over the weekend, beating Indiana and then No. 14 Purdue.

Sarah Wilhite had a big day Sunday for Minnesota, smashing 19 kills and hitting an impressive .621.

Momentum building

The Gophers opened the season at No. 4 in the poll, but fell to No. 6 after a season-opening loss to Stanford. Since then, Minnesota has climbed back up the poll by riding an 11-match winning streak.

Those wins include road victories over nationally-ranked conference foes Purdue and Ohio State.

The Gophers also faced six teams that were either ranked or receiving votes in the polls during their non-conference schedule. It will prove to be a good test for Minnesota as nine teams from the Big Ten are ranked in this week's Top 25.

Minnesota travels to No. 15 Penn State on Wednesday.

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