Oct. 5, 2013
The No. 8 University of Minnesota volleyball team battled back from a 2-0 deficit to come back and win the next three sets to defeat Iowa, 3-2, tonight in Iowa City, Iowa. Minnesota (15-2, 3-1 in the Big Ten) won the match by scores of 20-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 15-11.
Tori Dixon set a career-high 23 kills in 41 attempts to hit .488. Ashley Wittman had 15 kills and hit .326, while Hannah Tapp had six kills in nine swings. Tapp also led the Gophers with seven block assists, which tied a career high. Sarah Wilhite led the Gopher defense with a career-high 16 digs. Katie Schau and Alexandra Palmer each played as the Gopher setter. Schau had 18 assists, while Palmer had 30 in three sets played. After hitting .162 in the first set and .111 in the second, the Gophers came out in the third and hit .409 and .444 to force a fifth set. The Gophers, who are now 1-1 in five-set matches, hit .261 in the fifth. Iowa's Alex Lovell led the team with 18 kills in a match-high 56 swings.
Minnesota plays No. 5 Penn State, Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Set 1: Minnesota went on an early 5-0 run at 13-7 on a block by Wittman and Hannah Tapp, and later a 16-11 lead on a Dixon kill. Iowa, however, would close the gap and tie the set at 18-18 on a kill from Alex Lovell. After that, Minnesota and Iowa would tie it two more times before Iowa closed out the set on a 5-0 run to go up, 1-0.
Set 2: Minnesota went up, 16-12 in the second set on a Schau ace and forced Iowa to take a timeout. The Hawkeyes would come back and tie the set at 16 on a Lovell kill. After a tie at 21, the Gophers would get a kill from Dixon and Wittman to lead, 23-21, but an Iowa block and back-to-back aces by Erin Leppek for the lead as Iowa's Erin Radke added a kill to end the second set and put Iowa up, 2-0.
Set 3: The Gophers changed their lineup, adding Palmer in the match and Morgan Bohl as the libero. After the two teams were tied at 9-9, Minnesota used a 7-1 run to go up 16-10 on a kill from Dixon. Dixon would add back-to-back kills, followed by a block from Syndey Howard and Tapp to go up, 21-14. Tapp added a kill for the Gophers' 24 point, while Wilhite provided a kill as the Gophers would cut the deficit. Minnesota, who hit, .111 in the second set, came out and hit .409 in the third. In the third set alone, Dixon had eight kills, while Wilhite had four.
Set 4: After the two teams were tied at 4-4, Minnesota took the lead for good and never looked back to end the fourth set with a 25-17 win and forced a fifth set. Tapp and Wilhite combined for a block to put the score at 14-8, while Dixon added a kill for a 17-13 lead. With a kill from Wittman and an Iowa attack error to put the score at 20-14, Minnesota closed out the set with a kill from Palmer, a kill from Tapp (assist from Wilhite) and an Iowa attack error to force a game five. Minnesota improved its hitting in the fourth and had 16 kills in 27 attempts for a .444 hitting percent. Dixon added another five kills, followed by Wittman with four.
Set 5: As the two teams were tied at 5-5, Minnesota took control of the fifth set on three-straight points to put it at 8-5. Minnesota added a kill by Santana and a block by Dixon and Howard to push the lead to 12-8. Minnesota added match point on a kill from Dixon, while Tapp ended the match with her sixth kill of the night. Minnesota hit .261 in that set, while limiting Iowa to a .036 clip.
Gophers Close Out Regular Season This Week
Minnesota hosts No. 16 Ohio State Wednesday and travels to Indiana Saturday to close out regular season.
Limited Seats Available for OSU Match
Limited seats remain for tomorrow night's match vs. Ohio State as the Gophers and Buckeyes battle at 7 p.m.
Gophers Third in RPI, Fourth in AVCA Poll
The Golden Gophers are ranked No. 3 in the final NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).