The No. 16 University of Minnesota volleyball program swept Albany (25-13-, 25-16, 25-12) to win the Diet Coke Classic, tonight, at the Sports Pavilion in front of 3,862 fans. Ashley Wittman was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while Tori Dixon and Katherine Harms were also named to the all-tournament team. With the win, Minnesota improves to 5-0 on the season.
As a team, the Gophers hit .420 to Albany's .073. Minnesota had 47 kills on 88 attempts and 10 errors, while the Great Danes had 20 kills on 82 attempts and 14 attack errors. Minnesota also had six aces in the match, two of which came from Dixon. The Gophers also led the block category at 8.5 to 4.0.
Minnesota would hit .571 in the first set en route to a 25-13 set win. With only two attack errors, Minnesota jumped out to a 13-3 lead when the Gophers strung together a 5-2 run. With a 14-5 lead, Albany's Traci Vandergrift would soley narrow the gap as she had four straight aces. Minnesota, however, would regain the lead on a kill from Harms to put it at Minnesota up, 17-10. The Gophers would close out the set with a kill by Knudsen and Dixon, an ace by Dixon and an attack error by Albany.
Minnesota pulled away from Albany midway through the second set on a 5-1 run. The Gophers would later go up 20-12 on a kill by Wittman. Albany helped the Gophers to their final two points in the set with an attack error and a ball handling error for a 25-16 set win. Subbing out the Gopher starters, Minnesota had a kill from Hauer on five attempts, while White added an assist in the set.
Minnesota made quick work of the Great Danes in the third set as it cruised to a 25-12 set win. Minnesota went on a kill streak of five-straight kills to put the Gophers up, 15-7. As Dixon earned kills for the 22nd and 23rd point, Albany had two attack errors to end the set and the match.
Minnesota has a short turnaround as it heads to No. 2 Texas Thursday and Friday. The Gophers play in Austin at 6:30 p.m.