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The No. 14 University of Minnesota volleyball team fell in four sets tonight, to No. 4 Texas. By scores of 25-20, 20-25, 25-22 and 25-21, the two teams split action as the Golden Gophers defeated the Longhorns in four yesterday.
Minnesota was led by Katherine Harms and Tori Dixon, who each had 12 kills, while Daly Santana had nine kills and a team-high 11 digs. Texas outhit the Gophers, .216 to Minnesota's .149. Although Minnesota had more kills (50-49), the Longhorns outblocked the Gophers 15.50-7.0.
Texas strung together a 7-0 run to pace the Longhorns to a 25-20 first set win. The Longhorns stuffed the Gophers when they provided 6.5 blocks to Minnesota’s 2.0 in the first set. The Gophers had 10 kills on 27 attempts with nine errors, while Texas had nine kills on 22 attempts. Minnesota hit just .037 in the first set to the Longhorns’ .227. Bailey Webster had three kills in eight attempts to lead the attack.
Minnesota battled back in the second set to take it, 25-20. The Gophers gained the lead from the get-go at 1-0 and after an early 6-6 tie, the Gophers maintained control from the remainder of the set. After an attack error by Texas, Minnesota had a kill by Santana to go up, 18-15. Texas narrowed the lead on a kill by Sha’Dare McNeal and a Gopher attack error for 20-18. As Minnesota took a timeout, Harms added a kill to put the score at 21-19. Minnesota would finish the set with a kill by Ashley Wittman, an ace by Dixon and an attack error for Texas.
The Gophers trailed by as much as 11 points in the third set, only to fall, 25-22. As Texas took a commanding 20-9 lead. Minnesota, however, battled back and went on a 9-1 run to put the score at 21-18 Texas. After a kill by Harms, Kalysta White came in to serve as the Gophers earned four points in that rotation. After a Dixon and then a Santana kill, Texas called a timeout. With a Texas attack error, White had her first career ace to put the set at 20-14. Nicole Dalton had a kill to side out the Gophers, but Minnesota had a kill by Santana, a Texas ball handling error, a kill by Karlie Hauer and a kill by Dixon, the Gophers brought it to 21-18. However, Texas finished off the Gophers on kills by Haley Eckerman to end the set at 25-22.
Texas maintained control in the fourth set as it took the lead after 4-4. Minnesota took a timeout at 8-4 and again at 17-14, but the Longhorns continued the pressure to open it to a 20-15 lead. Minnesota had back-to-back points by Harms and Alexandra Palmer to put the set at 20-17. With a Gopher attack error, the set was at 24-20. Minnesota wasn't quite done as Wittman had a kill and Dixon had an ace, but a Minnesota tip went wide to give the Longhorns the set and the match.
Minnesota returns home Monday in a short turnaround. North Dakota State visits the Sports Pavilion at 7 p.m. Sept. 10th.
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