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The No. 10 University of Minnesota volleyball team defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes in four sets, 26-24, 18-25, 25-15 and 25-17 in Iowa City, Iowa. With the win the Golden Gophers improve to 15-3 overall and 6-1 in Big Ten play.
Minnesota was led by three with double-digit kills in Ashley Wittman (16 kills), Katherine Harms (15) and Tori Dixon (14), while Daly Santana had nine. The Golden Gophers also had four individuals with double-digit digs as Wittman had a team-high 17, Santana had 16, Lindsey Lawmaster had 15 and Katherine Harms with 11. It was the third-straight game in which Wittman held a double double. Dana Knudsen hit a team-best .462 when she had seven kills on 13 swings and just one error. Alexandra Palmer had a match-high 51 assists. As a team, the Gophers outhit the Hawkeyes, .236 to .182, outdug them, 74-65 and had six aces.
The two teams went through 13 tie scores, but Minnesota took the first set, 26-24. Minnesota held a 19-16 lead, but Iowa battled back and tied the set on a kill by Alessandra Dietz and took the lead on a kill by Rachael Bedell. The Gophers and Hawkeyes would trade points until the 24-24 mark. After the tie, Minnesota would finish the set with a kill by Knudsen and ended the set with a service ace from Lawmaster to go up, 1-0.
Iowa outhit the Gophers in the second set, .235 to .029 to take it, 25-18. Minnesota was up early, 10-6, but again the Hawkeyes battled back and tied the set at 14 and took the lead for good on a kill by Dietz at 16-15. The Hawkeyes would finish the set with a kill by Alex Lovell, a Minnesota attack error and an ace by Allison Straumann to tie up the match, 1-1.
However, Minnesota came out of the break and cruised to a 25-15 win in the third set to go up, 2-1. Minnesota had six third-set kills from Wittman as the Gophers jumped out to a commanding 17-10 lead. With back-to-back kills by Harms and Santana and a seven-point lead, it forced the Hawkeyes to take a timeout. With a kill by Dixon and back-to-back by Wittman, the Gophers increased the lead to 21-13. Minnesota would finish off the set with another kill by Wittman, a kill by Harms for the 24th point, while Iowa had a service error for the 25th point and the lead.
Minnesota would take the match with a 25-17 fourth-set win. After a tie score at 13-13, Minnesota would use a three-point run with back-to-back kills by Wittman and a kill by Dixon to jump up, 16-13 as Iowa took a timeout. Iowa would come back and cut the Gopher lead to 16-15, but Minnesota would go up five at 20-15 on an Iowa attack error. The Gophers would get their last five points on a kill by Santana, and ace by Wittman, an Iowa attack error and a kill by Santana to finish off the Hawkeyes for the team's 15th win of the season.
Minnesota has Saturday off before it plays No. 3 Nebraska, Sunday at 2 p.m. Sunday’s match against the Cornhuskers will be televised live on ESPN2.
Gophers Return Home This Weekend
Minnesota Volleyball hosts Rutgers and No. 10 Penn State, Friday and Saturday, at the Sports Pavilion.
No. 3 Minnesota Falls to No.1 Nebraska
The Gophers won the first set 26-24, fell in the second and third 25-18, 26-24, tied the match in the fourth 25-22, but fell 15-8 in the fifth.
Gophers Rally to Win, 3-2, Over Iowa
Trailing 2-1, the No. 3 University of Minnesota volleyball team came from behind to defeat Iowa, tonight in Iowa City, Iowa.