Something will happen this week for the first time every. The University of Minnesota and University of St. Thomas will go head-to-head as a pair of Division I schools in an athletic event. The Tommies have just become a DI program, after spending years at the Division III level.

As the Star Tribune states, "St. Thomas (established in 1885) and Minnesota (1851) have competed in the past, of course, just not with both as Division I opponents. The NCAA didn't divide into division until 1973."

In fact, "the Gophers and Tommies played football three times, with Minnesota winning each game, the last being a 25-7 tussle in 1918."

Back to this week's historic event as St. Thomas plays in the Gopher volleyball Diet Coke Classic at the Maturi Pavilion. Minnesota (3-3 overall) is rated 11th in the nation. The Tommies are 1-7 and are members of the Summit League.

Iowa State is the other team in the event. Minnesota and St. Thomas play at 7:30 pm Thursday. The Gophers meet the Cyclones Friday, September 17 at 7 pm. Get full tournament details including broadcast information here.

St. Thomas, based in St. Paul, has averaged 26 wins per season during the tenure of 17-year head coach Thanh Pham. The Tommies have won an NCAA title, a trio of region titles and a dozen MIAC championships during that time.

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