Sept. 20, 2013
The No. 9 University of Minnesota volleyball team opened the Dartmouth Duels with a 3-0 win over Rhode Island, Friday morning, in Hanover, N.H. With the win, the Golden Gophers improve to 9-1 this season and will play New Hampshire at 4:30 p.m. CT.
As a team, Minnesota hit .400, while holding the Rams to a .125 clip. After the Gophers were out blocked in the first set, 3-2, Minnesota finished the match with nine blocks to URI's eight. The Gophers also had 47 digs to the Rams' 26.
Three Gophers hit the double digit kills as Tori Dixon had 13 (hit . 667), while Ashley Wittman and Daly Santana had 10. Santana added her fifth double double of the season when she led the team with 12 digs. Lindsey Lawmaster had nine digs, three assists and an ace. Palmer guided the offense and had a match-high 31 assists.
-Minnesota has hit over .300 in eight of the 10 matches this season.
-Santana achieved her fifth double-double of the year.
-Dixon tied a season-best .667 hitting clip.
-The match was completed in an hour and 10 minutes, the second fastest of the season.
Turning Points in the Match:
Set 1: Minnesota held a 13-10 lead, but the Rams kept it close throughout the set. As the Rams added back-to-back blocks to put the Gopher lead to one (18-17), Minnesota would bring its lead to three on a kill from Dixon and a block from her and Adrianna Nora. Minnesota would reach set point from Santana, while Dixon would add a kill to put the Gophers up, 1-0.
Set 2: Minnesota jumped up to a 7-1 lead to start the second set and never looked back. The Gophers reached its 12th point on a Santana kill and 13th from Wittman. After holding an 18-8 lead the Rams would get three-straight points to put the match at 18-11. However, Dixon provided a kill for the team's 20th point. The Gophers would close out the set on a kill from Wittman and Santana to go up, 2-0.
Set 3: Minnesota poured on the pressure in the third set when it hit .500 in the third set. The Gophers would get three of their six aces in the third and six of their nine blocks. Minnesota went up, 10-3 and again 18-5 and in each instance, Rhode Island took a timeout. In both of those runs, Paige Tapp and Sarah Wilhite would combine for two blocks. In Palmer's serve rotation, Minnesota collected three-straight points to put the set at 23-8. In those three points, the Gophers had two blocks (Wittman/Dixon and Dixon/Santana), while Palmer provided an ace. Minnesota closed out the set and match with a kill from Wilhite and a URI attack error.
Gophers Receive B1G Laurels
Santana, Seliger-Swenson and McCutcheon garner B1G Player, Freshman and Coach of the Year.
Wilhite, Seliger-Swenson Garner Weekly Awards
Wilhite was named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week, while Seliger-Swenson was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
Gophers earn No. 2 seed in NCAA Tournament
Minnesota will host the first and second rounds at the Sports Pavilion, hosting Jackson State, UNI and Marquette.