The No. 12 University of Minnesota earned its first win of the 2014 season with a 3-0 win over Notre Dame, tonight, in front of 3,018 at the Sports Pavilion. The win tonight marks the third-straight season the Golden Gophers have opened the season with a win.
Paige Tapp added six kills, hit .600 in 10 attempts and had seven blocks in the match, all career highs. Daly Santana had 13 kills in 37 swings, two aces , five digs and a match-high 16.5 points. Katie Schau had 28 assists, four digs and three blocks. Minnesota hit .184 to Notre Dame's .106. Despite the Fighting Irish accomplishing 38 kills to Minnesota's 36, the Gophers outblocked them, 13.5 to 11.5. Minnesota had seven aces, three of which came from Schau, to Notre Dame's two.
The Gophers play Louisville tomorrow at 7 p.m. and televised live on the Big Ten Network. Wisconsin, who defeated Louisville in three earlier today, plays Notre Dame at 4 p.m.
Set One: Notre Dame and Minnesota opened the 2014 season with 15 tie scores and six lead changes, but the Gophers closed it out in the end to win the set, 26-24. Minnesota trailed 13-11, but would come back and take a 15-14 lead. The two teams exchanged points until the Gophers earned a two-point lead, 21-19, on a Paige Tapp ace. The Fighting Irish battled back to tie the set at 23-23 as the Gophers took a timeout. After a Gopher attack error for a Notre Dame to push to set point, the Fighting Irish had a service error. Minnesota then closed out the set with an ace by Santana and a kill by Adrianna Nora to go up, 1-0.
Set Two: Like the first set, the two teams tied 13 times and held six lead changes before the Gophers closed out the second set, 27-25 and took a 2-0 lead. Minnesota went up 11-8 before Notre Dame came back and tied it, 15-15. The two teams tied it again at 16, 17, 19 22 and 23. Santana had a kill to put it at set point, but Notre came back to produce back-to-back points for a set point. Minnesota, however, was able to close out another tight set on a Notre Dame attack error, a block by Santana and Tapp and a Schau ace to take the 2-0 lead.
Set Three: Minnesota used seven blocks in the third set to win it, 25-18 and the match in three. After being tied 6-6, Minnesota went on a 5-1 run to take an 11-7 lead. In that span, the Gophers contributed three blocks. Minnesota went up 15-10 on a Notre Dame attack error and 20-12 on another block by Schau and Paige Tapp. Notre Dame closed the gap on a kill by Meg Vonderhaar for a 22-16 Gopher lead, but Minnesota went to match point on a kill from Sarah Wilhite, while she followed with another kill to end the match.
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Minnesota Volleyball hosts Rutgers and No. 10 Penn State, Friday and Saturday, at the Sports Pavilion.