Oct. 1, 2011
The No. 10 University of Minnesota volleyball team fell to No. 9 Penn State, in three sets, 15-25, 24-26, 15-25, tonight in State College, Pa. With the loss, the Golden Gophers drop to 8-5 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten Conference. Penn State improves to 10-4 overall and 3-1 in conference action.
Ashley Wittman led the Gophers with 14 kills, while Tori Dixon held a hitting percentage of .389 with eight kills in 18 attempts. Minnesota was outhit in the match as Penn State posted a hitting percentage of .344 to .143. Jessica Granquist led match with 15 digs. PSU had 14.5 team blocks to Minnesota's 4.0. Combined between both teams, 16 service errors were committed.
PSU went on a four-point swing early to put the score of the first set at 13-8 and held the lead for a 20-15 win. PSU had four aces in the first set and held a hitting percentage of .423, capitalizing 13 kills on 26 attempts. Minnesota had 12 kills on 31 attempts for a .226 hitting percentage.
In the second set, Minnesota jumped out to an early lead when Ashley Wittman had three straight kills to put it at 7-4 and PSU took a timeout at 11-6 as Minnesota went on a 4-1 run. PSU, however, would tie of the set at 14-14. Tied later at 20-20, Minnesota went up 23-20, but PSU responded again and tied the set at 23-23 when Aiyana Whitney had a kill. After a kill by Wittman and a kill by PSU's Katie Slay, the set was tied at 24. The Nittany Lions added two blocks at the end of the set to win it 26-24 and go up, 2-0 in the match. PSU used its two-set momentum into the third set as it went up, 20-12, en route to a set win of 25-15.
Minnesota will look to regroup next weekend as it travels for the second-straight week, this time to Michigan and Michigan State, Oct. 7-8. Both matches are set for 6 p.m. CT starts.
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.