Sept. 3, 2011
Photo GalleryMinnesota 3, Texas, 0
For the second-straight night the No. 11 University of Minnesota volleyball team earned a 3-0 win (25-19, 25-21 and 25-22) to upset No. 4 Texas, tonight in front of 5.342 fans. Minnesota (3-1 overall record) was led by senior Ariana Filho when she held a hitting percentage of .733 and 11 kills. Tori Dixon had a career-high five aces, breaking her previous best of three that she set last night, marking eight on the weekend.
The Horns' back-to-back sweep losses mark the first time Texas has been swept in consecutive matches since Oct. 2 and 4, 2000 and the first time under head coach Jerritt Elliott.
The Minnesota win also extends its home winning streak to 10, dating back to October 22, 2010 vs. Illinois. Throughout the two nights, Texas never held more than a three-point lead over the Gophers as they controlled the scoring over the course of the weekend. Minnesota held a hitting percentage of .333, bettering Texas' rate of .278.
"It was a nice win by the team," coach Laura Bush said. "We didn't know how we would emotionally handle tonight after the nice 3-0 win last night, but everything that we asked the team to do, they did.
"I think we made nice adjustments throughout the match and we got some production from players we didn't see last night--particularly Ari (Filho). We were able to utilize her in the middle a lot more after they made an adjustment on Katherine Harms (from last night). It was a really good team effort and a lot of good things are going on on our side of the net. I'm really happy about how we played."
Minnesota earned its fourth-straight set win over Texas when it won Saturday's first set, 25-19. The Gophers and Longhorns only had two tie scores and one lead change in the first set, and held two four-point leads in the set. Minnesota went up early, 8-4 and again, 15-11 before the Longhorns closed the gap. With the score at 19-18, Minnesota finished the set with a 6-1 run to win it. After Texas' Rachael Adams had an ace and then a service error, Madelyn Hutson had an attack error to put the set at 21-18. Texas' Haley Eckerman had a kill, but Minnesota then went on to get four points to finish it. Ashley Wittman had a kill, while Tori Dixon had back-to-back aces, finished off by Wittman's fourth kill of the set.
After 12 tie scores and four lead changes, Minnesota rallied and won the second set, 25-21. The Longhorns had a three-point lead at 11-8, but Minnesota came back to eventually tie it at 15-15. Texas added another three points to go up, 18-15, but again Minnesota tied it. The Gophers then took the lead at 21-20 and finished the set on a 5-1 run. The Gophers finished the set with back-to-back kills by Wittman and Ariana Filho for a two-set advantage. In the second set alone, Filho had five kills in exactly five attempts.
In the third, Minnesota would gain a slight lead, only to have Texas respond. At 21-21, however, Minnesota pulled through and earned the needed points for the set and match win. Wittman had back-to-back kills, to put Minnesota up, 23-21 and forced Texas to take a timeout. After Longhorn Bailey Webster added a kill to put it at 23-22, Wittman responded with her 16th kill of the evening, while Hailey Cowles closed the match with her seventh kill to win, 25-22.
"(Katherine) Harms was on fire last night and we knew that they were probably going to make some adjustments to her," Filho said. "Texas is a good team, but it's good that we have a team that can collectively give to this win. Them making adjustments to Harms opens up more room for Tori (Dixon) and I and we're totally okay with that."
Minnesota looks to take its three-match win streak on the road next weekend. The Gophers head to Cedar Falls, Iowa and will compete in the Northern Iowa Tournament, Sept. 9-10. On Friday, Minnesota faces St. Louis at 5 p.m. and will turn around and play Kansas (10 a.m.) and No. 14 Northern Iowa (7 p.m.) next Saturday.