Sept. 18, 2011
Minnesota 3, Marquette 2
The No. 9 University of Minnesota volleyball team rallied back from a 2-1 deficit and defeated Marquette University, 3-2, today in Milwaukee, Wis. With the win, the Golden Gophers (7-2) became the tournament championship. For the second-straight week, Ashley Wittman was named tournament MVP, while Jessica Granquist was named the libero of the tournament. Also landing a spot on the all-tournament team was Ariana Filho when she had a career-high 18 kills against host Marquette.
Wittman finished the Marquette tournament with 45 kills (5.62 kps) and a .422 hitting percentage. Filho held the team's best hitting percentage at .537 in the two matches, producing 24 kills (3.00 kps), just two errors in 41 attempts. Granquist had 34 digs to average 4.25 per set and held a reception percentage of .975. The Marquette tournament marked the third all-tournament honors for Wittman and Granquist, while it was the first for Filho.
Minnesota jumped out to a 10-3 lead and held it for the remainder of the set. After leading by seven, the Eagles closed the gap to four at 16-12 in favor of Minnesota. The Gophers called a timeout and responded with four-straight points, forcing Marquette to take a timeout at 20-12. Minnesota continued to add to the lead as Filho, Dixon and Cowles had three kills towards the end of the set to win it and give the Gophers a 1-0 lead. On the set, Minnesota hit .387, taking advantage of 15 kills in 31 attempts and three errors.
Marquette tied the match at 1-1 when it won the second set, 25-22. Minnesota hit .243, while Marquette as a team hit for .316. As the Gophers led, 18-16, Marquette rallied back after a kill and a Minnesota attack error to even it up, 18-18 and took the lead at 19-18 for the remainder of the set.
The Eagles put it at 2-1 when they came out of the break and won 29-27 over the Gophers. In the third, 14 tie scores and seven lead changes existed throughout the set. Just as Minnesota went up, 24-23, Ciara Jones tied it up at 24 all. Then Marquette went to set point with a kill from Kelsey Mattai, but Filho responded to tie it at 25. Jones then had an attack error and a kill to put it at 26 all. Finally at 28-27, Cowles attempt went long as the set went in the Eagles' favor.
Minnesota rallied back and took the fourth set at 25-20. The Gophers and Eagles were only tied at 5-5 when Minnesota went on to win the set. The Gophers poured on the pressure when they held the score at 21-14, receiving back-to-back kills by Dixon and Wittman. After Tabberson had a kill and Cowles delivered an ace, Marquette called a timeout. However, Wittman had two additional kills in the set to close it out and sent it into a fifth set.
Minnesota held an early 5-1 lead, but the Eagles continued to battle back and tied the set at 7-7. After both teams were at 11-11, Marquette had a service error, followed by an attack error to put the Gophers up, 13-11. Wittman, however, added two more kills to close out the set and match at 15-12.
Minnesota hosts No. 3 Illinois, Friday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. The match opens Big Ten Conference play. Also during the Illinois match, the Gophers will honor newly Hall of Fame inductee and former Gopher coach Mike Hebert.