Well Balanced Attack Leads Gophers to Four-Set Win Over No. 17 Purdue
Oct. 20, 2012
The No. 10 University of Minnesota volleyball team earned a four-set win over No. 17 Purdue, tonight, at the Sports Pavilion in front of 3,437 fans.
The Gophers had a well balanced attack as it had four individuals with double digit kills. Katherine Harms had a double double with 15 kills and 10 digs, while Ashley Wittman had 11 kills and 11 digs. Middle blockers Dana Knudsen and Tori Dixon each had 10 kills, while Daly Santana had a match-high 18 digs and nine kills. Alexandra Palmer had a match-high 43 assists. The Gophers also had five service aces, including three from Dixon in the fourth and deciding set.
Minnesota took the first set, 25-21, fueled by a pair of runs to go up, 1-0. Santana delivered back-to-back aces for her 40th and 41st of the season to put the Gophers up, 17-10. However, Purdue battled back and went on an 8-1 run to tie the set at 18-18. Minnesota, however, would go up two on a kill from Knudsen, a Purdue attack error, a kill by Harms and another attack error by the Boilermakers to increase the lead back to four. Minnesota would close out the set and take a 1-0 lead on a service error from Purdue and a kill from Santana. In the first set, Wittman led the Gopher charge with five kills, while Santana, Dixon and Harms all had three.
Minnesota hit .371, while holding the Boilermakers to .086 clip in the second set as the Gophers went on to win, 25-18. Minnesota went up 10-6 on a kill by Knudsen. After a kill by Wittman and a Purdue attack error, the Gophers jumped out to 17-12 and forced the Boilermakers to take a timeout. The Gophers, however, would come out of the timeout and had a block from Santana and Knudsen and followed with a Purdue attack error for a 19-12 lead. Minnesota would close out the set with a kill by Palmer (from Wittman), a kill by Dixon and a Purdue attack error to go up, 2-0.
Purdue used seven blocks and hit .345 to take the third set, 25-16. The Boilermakers opened up the third set with an 11-7 lead with a kill by Anna Drewy. Purdue had back-to-back blocks to push its lead to 16-12, forcing Minnesota to take a timeout. The Boilermakers ended the set on a 7-0 with two blocks and forced Minnesota to three attack errors, while Purdue’s Ariel Turner added a kill to trail just 2-1.
The Gophers, however, bounced back from the third-set loss to take the fourth and the match on a 25-17 win. Purdue took a 15-13 lead as the Gophers had an attack error, followed by a Turner ace. Minnesota, however, tied it up and then took a one-point lead as Dixon had a kill and back-to-back aces. After a Purdue attack error, Dixon would deliver yet another ace as the Gophers went up, 18-15. Wittman would put the Gophers up four when she swung over the Purdue block to go up, 20-16 and forced the Boilermakers to a timeout. Harms would get an overpass kill for a 21-16 lead coming out of the timeout. After a Turner kill (her 22nd of the night off her 61st attempt), the Gophers closed out the match with four-straight points. Harms would have her 15th kill of the night, while she and Knudsen had a block. After a Purdue attack error, Knudsen would put up her 10th kill of the night for the match final.
Minnesota closes the first half of the Big Ten Conference portion with just two losses and eight wins, facing all but Indiana in the first half. The Gophers host Northwestern and Illinois next weekend in two different venues. The Friday match against the Wildcats will be held at the Sports Pavilion at 6:30 p.m. Sunday’s match against the Illini is set for a noon start at Williams Arena.