There is only one reason I can think of that college volleyball, which is a very popular spectator sport, is not an even more popular spectator sport, and it is this one: it probably makes me more incandescently angry than any other spectator sport.

The Gopher volleyball team lost to Texas on Tuesday, a four-set loss that included a fourth set in which the Gophers took an early lead and then just sort of bled to death for the rest of the set. By the time Texas, and former Gopher (and noted traitor) Jenna Wenaas, closed out the match at 25-23, I was screaming what I would describe as “Vikings words” at the television.

The whole game of volleyball is just so dang rude. Either somebody spikes the ball in your face and celebrates, or you block their spike and celebrate; every point is like a dunk contest where a seven-foot-tall dude is trying to block the dunks.

I do not understand how fans are not continuously running onto the court and trying to tackle the opposing team’s players. 95% of all brawls in the history of major league baseball are less contentious than every volleyball match I’ve ever seen.

Anyway, the Gophers lost, and while I kept writing that they were playing #1 Texas, it turns out that Texas lost to Long Beach State over the weekend and so was #7, while the Gophers were #5. So I guess this even counts as an upset loss at home. Hence the Vikings words.

Also I don’t care that Jenna Wenaas is from Texas. In a blood sport like this one, loyalty counts more than homeland.

Now is the point in this post where we note that everybody but the Saints lost on Tuesday night. The first team to go down was the Lynx, who lost 83-72 at Washington. Minnesota trailed 26-16 at the end of the first quarter, and spent the rest of the night trying to claw it back. They managed to get a lead at 37-36 late in the second quarter; by halftime it was 42-37 Washington, and Minnesota basically did not get close again.

Diamond Miller had 25 points to lead Minnesota, but was also a minus for the night, which tells you something about how the game went. Everybody besides the big three of Miller, Napheesa Collier (17 points), and Kayla McBride (nine), combined for just 21 points for the game, on 8-for-24 shooting.

The loss dropped Minnesota all the way to seventh in the standings, though they’re still two games ahead of ninth-place Chicago with four games to go. At the moment, Minnesota is staring a playoffs trip to New York or Las Vegas in the face, and frankly I’m not sure they’d want to even waste the gas to get there.

The Twins also lost, 4-2 against Cleveland, a disappointing outing one evening after they’d put up 10 runs against the Guardians. Their only runs came on solo home runs in this one, one from Royce Lewis, one from Michael A. Taylor.

Taylor now has a career-high 20 home runs, but an almost total aversion to walking (21 walks, 118 strikeouts) and hitting the ball in fair territory (he’s batting .228) mean that he still has an OPS+ of 97.

Somehow, this means that each of the Twins outfielders with the most games at each of the three outfield spots - Taylor, Joey Gallo, and Max Kepler - has hit 20 home runs this season. I think you could have taken bets against that happening, or against those three players leading the team in games at the outfield spots on August 29.

In any event, the Twins were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday, and 2-for-16 with runners on base. Congratulations are in order for Carlos Correa, who hit into his league-leading 27th double play. With more than a month to go in the year, Correa is one away from tying the Twins team record, and three away from becoming just the 17th major league player to bounce into 30 double plays in one year.

You have to hand it to the St. Paul Saints, who found a way to win Tuesday night, 5-4 over Columbus in 11 innings. Jordan Balazovic blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth, sending the game to extra innings, and the Clippers scored in the top of the 10th to make it 4-3.

Down to their last at-bat, St. Paul immediately tied it, as Columbus made three errors on the same play. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before! A quick recap:

The first baseman dropped a simple two-hopper (error #1, allowing Andrew Stevenson to reach first), then winged it to the fence in a last-ditch effort to get Stevenson at first (error #2, allowing Jair Camargo to score at home); the pitcher then picked up the wild throw and threw it in the dirt at the plate (error #3, allowing Stevenson to reach second base).

Hilariously, Austin Martin followed this circus show by popping out on a bunt attempt, a true commitment to terrible baseball.

At any rate, the Saints held Columbus scoreless in the 11th, then did the simplest thing to score their own run - a ground ball to second, then a Yunior Severino sac fly. Severino accounted for all of the St. Paul runs in the first nine innings, too, with a three-run homer, so he’ll get a game ball for that one.


TWINS vs Cleveland, 12:10pm
LOONS vs Colorado, 7:30pm

SAINTS vs. Columbus, 7:07pm


GOPHER FOOTBALL vs Nebraska, Thursday
LYNX vs Atlanta, Friday
GOPHER VOLLEYBALL at Florida, Sunday
VIKINGS vs Tampa Bay, September 10