Gophers looking to find stride in Big Ten play after 5-5 start

Keegan Cook knew his start as the head coach of the University of Minnesota volleyball team would be a challenge, playing seven ranked opponents in their first 10 games.

The Gophers are 5-5 on the season, and 1-1 in Big Ten play after a five-set win at Iowa last week, and a three-set loss at No. 2 Nebraska. Cook said the feeling postgame after both matches was as if the Gophers had lost to the Hawkeyes, and beaten the Cornhuskers. The first and third sets for Minnesota against Nebraska were both decided by a combined five points.

Despite that 5-5 record, the Gophers remain a top-15 team at No. 13 in the country. Their current record includes wins over No. 15 Baylor, and No. 6 Oregon.

"We could’ve scheduled totally different teams and had a totally different record. We know who we are and that we’ve played a great schedule and we’ll continue to play great teams. I think everyone sees it as it is inside the locker room," Cook said Tuesday before practice at Maturi Pavilion.

The struggle has been putting a win streak together. The Gophers have just one, beating TCU and Baylor consecutively. They’re 3-3 in their last six matches, and host Michigan Friday followed by Penn State on Saturday.

So what is their mindset as they enter the Big Ten gauntlet? Cook is preaching consistency.

"The vision that we’re talking about is that is our process consistent? If you want to have consistent results, you have to have consistent behaviors," Cook said. "I like what we settled into last week, I like how we’re set up this week. I like what I’m seeing from players day to day, I’m confident that the results are going to follow from that."

Watch the video to see what else Cook had to say, as well as players Kylie Murr and Melani Shaffmaster.