Gophers Claim Border Battle In Straight Set Win
Oct. 17, 2012
The No. 10 University of Minnesota volleyball program earned a three-set win (25-19, 25-22, 28-26) over Wisconsin, tonight, at the Sports Pavilion. Minnesota had a season-high 10 aces in the match to improve to 16-4 on the season and 7-2 in the Big Ten. Prior to the 10-ace mark, the Gophers had nine aces in four matches this season.
Minnesota had a balanced attack of nine kills from Tori Dixon, Dana Knudsen and Daly Santana, followed by Ashley Wittman with eight and Katherine Harms with seven. Santana had a team-high 11 digs, while Wittman had 10. The Gophers outhit the Badgers, .248 to .194, outblocked them, 9.0 to 3.0 and held a 43-38 kill advantage.
Minnesota used eight service aces in the first set alone for a 25-19 set win. The eight aces set a season-high in single set. The Gophers used five of their first nine points on aces to take an early 9-3 lead. The Badgers would battle back from the deficit and tied the set at 13-13 on a Minnesota ball handling error. The Gophers, however, would use a 6-1 run to open up the set. Minnesota would receive another two aces from Santana for the team’s 18th and 19th point and a 19-14 lead. The Gophers would even close out the set on an ace by Lindsey Lawmaster. Santana would have five kills in the set.
After six ties scores, including the 21-21 mark, Minnesota finished the set strong on a 5-2 run to take the second set, 25-22. Trailing by two points, Wisconsin had two kills from Ellen Chapman to tie it at 20 all. After a kill by Dixon and a Gopher service error, the two teams were again tied. Dixon, however, added another kill for the Gophers 23rd point and Minnesota closed out the set with a kill by Knudsen and a block from Knudsen and Wittman as the Gophers went up, 2-0.
Wisconsin took its first lead of the match at 14-13 in the third set, but the Gophers erased the deficit on a block from Wittman and Dixon to go up, 17-16. The two teams would then exchange points from 17-17 through the 26-point mark. After a kill by Dixon to tie the set at 23-23, Minnesota had a service error. The Gophers would have a kill by Wittman to again tie it at 24, but Wisconsin’s Mary Ording would help the Badgers again take the lead. Minnesota would gain two-straight points on a kill by Knudsen and the team’s 10th service ace by Palmer to put the score at 26-25. Wisconsin’s Julie Mikaelsen had a kill to again tie the set at 26 all. The Gophers, however, would close the set and the match on a kill from Knudsen, while she and Harms connected for the team's ninth block on the match.
Minnesota will host No. 17 Purdue Saturday night, also at the Sports Pavilion. The Boilermakers come into town with a 14-6 overall record and a 5-4 mark in the Big Ten Conference. Match time is set for 7 p.m.