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The No. 10 University of Minnesota volleyball team defeated North Dakota State in straight sets, tonight at the Sports Pavlion. The Golden Gophers (7-1) won by scores of 25-19, 25-17, 25-16 and handed NDSU its seventh loss of the season as it stands at 3-7.
Tori Dixon led the team in kills tonight as she contributed a .609 hitting percentage with 15 kills (15-1-23), added two aces and three block assists. Other team leaders for the night included Katherine Harms, who had 12 kills and led the team in digs with 15. Senior Mia Tabberson had a match-high 23 assists. Lindsey Lawmaster had 12 digs, while Alexandra Palmer had an ace and 18 assists.
Although the Gophers and the Bison went through seven tie scores and two lead changes, Minnesota took the first set, 25-19. The Gophers took control of the first set when they went on a four-point run. After a solo block by Wittman, the Gophers had an ace by Palmer and back-to-back kills by Harms to go up, 20-16. Minnesota would earn its final three points of the match on NDSU ball-handling or attack errors to win the set.
Minnesota hit .341 in the second set en route to a 25-17 win. Tied early at 8-8, the Gophers took the lead for good at 10-9 on a block by Dixon and Santana. The Bison narrowed the Minnesota lead to one at 16-15 on a block by NDSU’s Carissa Whalen, but the Gophers had back-to-back kills by Harms and Dixon, while Santana put the Gopher lead to 20-16 on two-straight kills. The Gophers would close out the set on a kill by Dixon and two aces by Santana to go up, 2-0.
Minnesota cruised to a third-set and match win by a score of 25-16. The set win was paced by a 7-1 run midway through the third set, capped off by a Kalysta White ace and a score of 18-11. After back-to-back attack errors by NDSU, the set was at match point. After a NDSU kill from Megan Lambertson, Minnesota responded on a kill by Brianna Haugen to win the set and the match.
Minnesota will travels to Tulsa Okla., to compete in the Golden Hurricane Classic. Minnesota will compete against No. 10 Dayton (10 a.m.) and No. 22 Kansas State (4:30 p.m.) on Friday, Sept. 14 and host Tulsa (2 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 15.
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