Minnesota Sweeps Past Northwestern
Oct. 26, 2012
Katherine Harms had 19 kills, three aces and six digs to lead the No. 10 University of Minnesota volleyball program to a three-set win over Northwestern, tonight at the Sports Pavilion. With the win, the Golden Gophers improve to 18-4 and 9-2 in the Big Ten.
Along with Harms, Tori Dixon has 12 kills in 20 attempts and just two errors to hit .500 on the night. Ashley Wittman had nine kills, a match-high 11 digs, a team-best .643 hitting percentage and tied a season-high three aces. Alexandra Palmer had a match-high 42 assists.
The Golden Gophers hit .424 on the night to Northwestern's impressive .345. With the .424 clip, Minnesota has now hit over .300 in 12 matches this season and five over .400. Minnesota is hitting .308 as a team this year. On the night, the Gophers also had 10 aces, which tied a season high and have had 10 aces in two of their last three matches.
Despite Northwestern hitting a .333 clip to Minnesota's .312, the Gophers took the first set, 25-19. Harms paced the Gophers with seven kills (10 swings) and an ace in the first set alone. Along with Harms, Minnesota had a total of six service aces, including two from Daly Santana and Wittman. The Golden Gophers opened the first set with a 6-1 lead, only to have the Wildcats come back and take a 10-9 lead. Minnesota, however, went on a 6-0 run to take back the lead in which was maintained from the remainder of the set. Along with Harms, Dixon also had four kills.
Minnesota and Northwestern went through 12 tie scores and four lead changes, but the Gophers came back to win in the second set, 26-24. As both teams hit over .400 in the set, Minnesota came back from 24-22 and won the set. Minnesota erased a three-point lead by Northwestern at 17-14 and tie the set at 19-19. The Wildcats and Gophers would exchange points until Northwestern earned two-straight on a kill from Stephanie Holthus and Yewande Akanbi to put it at set point, 24-22. Minnesota, however, took a timeout and rattled off three-straight points to come back and win the set, 26-24. Trailing 24-22, Minnesota used its second timeout of the set. Coming out of the timeout, Wittman provided a kill to tie the set, while Dixon followed with an ace to tie it at 24 all. After Wittman had a kill, Northwestern took a timeout as Minnesota was at set point. The Gophers closed out the set on another kill from Wittman as Mia Tabberson set her up.
The Gophers hit a stifling .529 in the third set when it capitalized 20 kills in 34 attempts and just two errors to win it, 25-20. Harms added another eight kills off of 13 swings and hit .615. Dixon also hit .556 in the set when she had five kills in nine attempts, while Wittman was a perfect four kills on four attempts. Harms had six kills in the set by the 11-9 score. Minnesota opened up the set at 14-9 and 16-12 on kills from Dixon. Harms added her 19th kill of the night at the 22-18 mark, while the Gophers closed out the set and the match on back-to-back kills from Dixon en route to the team's 18th win of the season.
Minnesota plays Illinois on Sunday, Oct. 28, noon, at Williams Arena. Pre-sale tickets are still on sale for $1.