Sep 7, 2013
The University of Minnesota added its sixth 3-0 win of the season when it defeated Western Illinois, this afternoon at the Sports Pavilion. With the win, the Golden Gophers are 6-0, while Western Illinois dropped to 2-4.
Minnesota showed its depth as 14 players saw action. Minnesota as a team hit .348 and held WIU to .073. The Gophers were led by the senior duo of Tori Dixon and Ashley Wittman, who each had a double-digit kill match. Wittman had 12 kills in 24 swings to hit for .417. Dixon added 14 kills for a .571 hitting clip. She also had all four Gopher aces. The Gophers had a 10-1 block ratio as WIU added a slight lead in the dig margin at 39-38. Freshman Katie Schau and Alexandra Palmer split time as the Gopher setter as Palmer had 20 assists and Schau had 28.
Minnesota plays again at 7:30 p.m. against Duke. Both the Gophers and Blue Devils have won two matches in the Diet Coke Classic and will play for the championship tonight.
-Katie Schau started in the game and made her first collegiate start. Kalei Mau saw her first action as a Golden Gopher.
-Minnesota hit over .300 for the fifth time in six matches this season.
-The match marked the second time this season the Gophers played 14.
-Karlie Hauer had a career-high eight kills.
Turning Points in the Match:
Set 1: As the two teams were tied at 12-12, Minnesota went on a six-point swing to take a 18-12 lead, which set the tone for the remainder of the match. In that span, Minnesota had a kill by Wittman, three WIU attack errors and two kills by Dixon. Minnesota closed out the set with a kill by Wittman and a WIU attack error.
Set 2: The team hit .444 in the second set, paced by a .667 clip when she had six kills in nine attempts and did not commit an error. Wittman, however, had eight kills in 15 swings for a .400 attack percentage. Minnesota went on a 6-1 run, capped off by a kill by Adrianna Nora. Wittman produced a kill for a 14-9 lead, while Nora added one to put the set at 17-13. Minnesota's 24th and 25th set points came on kills by Wittman, her seventh and eighth of the set.
Set 3: Minnesota changed its lineup in the third set, which included freshmen Schau, Mau, Hannah Tapp, Paige Tapp and Wilhite at various times in the set. Minnesota used two kills from Hauer, two from Dixon, three from Wilhite and two from Mau. Minnesota reached the 12-6 mark with a block from Schau and Paige Tapp. Dixon put the Gophers up, 18-14, while Mau put the set at 20-15 on a kill. The Gophers finished off the set and the match with a kill from Wilhite, her third of the set.
Gopher Spotlight: Seniors Alugbue and Santana
In our regular season home finale, the University of Minnesota honored its seniors, Toni Alugbue and Daly Santana in a post-match celebration.
Gophers Beat Ohio State in Five-Set Thriller
Minnesota ended its regular home season in a five-set win over Ohio State, 25-27, 29-31, 25-17, 25-15, 15-9. The Gophers are now 25-4 overall and 17-2 in the Big Ten.
Gophers Close Out Regular Season This Week
Minnesota hosts No. 16 Ohio State Wednesday and travels to Indiana Saturday to close out regular season.