Oct. 17, 2013
The No. 10 University of Minnesota volleyball team handed No. 5 Michigan State its first loss of the conference season when it won, 3-2, tonight, in front of 4,782 fans at the Sports Pavilion. The win marks the first against a top-five opponent this season as the Golden Gophers improve to 17-3 overall and 5-2 within Big Ten play. Minnesota fell in the first set, 23-25, won the second, 25-21, fell in the third, 24-26, won the fourth, 25-22 and won, 15-7, in the fifth and deciding set. Michigan State drops to 17-2 this season and 6-1 in Big Ten action.
Between the two teams, 72 attack errors were committed, 32 by Minnesota and 40 by MSU. Although the Spartans led in kills (57 to Minnesota's 44), the Gophers held a narrow margin in digs (93 to 92), aces (9 to 7) and blocks (15.5 to 13.0). Minnesota hit the lowest of the season at .067 as it had 44 kills, 32 errors in 179 attempts. Michigan State had 57 kills, 40 errors and 195 attempts to hit .087.
Daly Santana paced the Gophers with a double-double. She had 11 kills and 16 digs, and tied a career high with seven aces. Adrianna Nora came off the bench and led the team with 12 kills in 26 attempts and just one error when she hit a team-best .423. Morgan Bohl and Ashley Wittman led the Gophers with 20 digs and Tori Dixon had eight total blocks. Alexandra Palmer added a match-best 31 assists.
Minnesota takes a day off before it hosts No. 16 Michigan, Saturday night at 7 p.m.
-Santana's previous seven aces came against Miami (OH) on Sept. 1, 2012.
-Morgan Bohl had a career-best 20 digs, bettering the 19 she had against Purdue in the 2012 NCAA Regional Semifinal.
-Minnesota is 3-3 against ranked opponents this season and 2-2 in five-set matches.
First Set: Minnesota used a pair of runs during Daly Santana's serve rotation to jump out to a 20-13 lead. Santana added a kill for a 20-12 lead. However, the Spartans came back and continued to chip away at the deficit, going on a 13-3 run to finish out the set and come from behind to take a 1-0 lead.
Second Set: Minnesota tied the match 1-1 with a 25-21 second-set win. Four lead changes and nine tie scores took place until the Gophers took the lead at the 22-21 mark. Minnesota held a 19-15 lead on MSU's back-to-back attack errors. However, the Spartans came back and took a brief lead on back-to-back aces by Ryian Hubbard. Minnesota, however, got two kills from Santana to take a 22-21 lead. She then closed out the set when she went back to serve. Dixon added her sixth kill of the game and Santana finished back-to-back aces to win the set and tie the match.
Third Set: The two teams went through another 10 ties and six lead changes before Michigan State took the third set, 26-24. Tied as late as 20-20, the Spartans added back-to-back kills by Lauren Wicinski to go up 22-20. Minnesota would get a block to pull within one at 23-22. A kill by Adrianna Nora and an MSU attack error by Chloe Reinig tied the set at 24 all. The Spartans would, however, close out the set on a kill from Reinig and Wicinski to take a 2-1 lead.
Fourth Set: Minnesota battled back and took a 25-22 fourth-set win to force a fifth set. The Gophers trailed 17-15 and 19-17 in the fourth set. Minnesota had a crucial block by Tapp and Nora at the 19-18 mark and added another block from Dixon and Santana to tie the set at 19. After an MSU ball handling error, the Gophers took a 20-19 lead. After a kill by Wicinski and a kill by Nora, Minnesota went up 22-20 on a block by Dixon and Sydney Howard. MSU's Alexis Mathews had a block, but Dixon and Howard connected for a block to go up 23-21. Michigan State took a timeout and came out of the break with a kill from Kelsey Kuipers. Minnesota, however, would get two points on a MSU service error and a kill by Wittman to close out the set and force a fifth set.
Fifth Set: After both teams traded points until the 5-5 mark, Minnesota added two-straight kills from Adrianna Nora to cushion a 7-5 lead. The Gophers would then add to the led when Ashley Wittman had an ace, followed by a block from Santana and Tapp. The 11-6 lead would force MSU to take a timeout before Nora added another kill for a 12-6 margin. The Gophers would finish off the match and the set with two-straight points as MSU had an attack error, while Nora finished off the night with her 12th kill of the night from Santana.
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Gopher Spotlight: Seniors Alugbue and Santana
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