Oct. 27, 2013
The No. 7 University of Minnesota volleyball team earned a 3-1 win over Northwestern, today, at the Sports Pavilion. With the win, the Golden Gophers improve to 19-4 this season, 7-3 in the Big Ten and undefeated at home. With the win, the Gophers hold sole possession of third place in the Big Ten Conference standings. Northwestern drops to 13-9 this year and 5-5 in league action.
The Golden Gophers outhit Northwestern, .291 to .140, had a 61-52 ratio in kills, added 17 blocks to the Wildcats' 11 and had 80 digs.
Minnesota had four with double-digit kills. Senior Ashley Wittman held a match-best 17 kills and a career-best 29 digs for her ninth double-double of the season. Adrianna Nora had her best performance as a Golden Gopher when she had 15 kills in 34 attempts to hit .324. Tori Dixon had 14 kills and hit .367, while Daly Santana had 12 kills and nine digs. Alexandra Palmer added a double-double when she had 41 assists and 12 digs. Lindsey Lawmaster and Morgan Bohl each had 12 digs.
Minnesota travels to No. 21 Purdue and Indiana, Nov. 1-2. Following the road trip, Minnesota will be home the next four matches.
-Wittman added her ninth double-double and second straight. Her complete line was 17 kills, 29 digs, four assists and four blocks (two solos and two assists). She has hit over .300 in 13 matches this year.
-Wittman's 29 digs marks the most for a Gopher individual since Jessica Granquist accomplished the feat with 34 against Northern Iowa in 2011.
-The 17 blocks for Minnesota was the team's second-best mark of the season.
-The Palmer double-double was her seventh this season and 14th of her Gopher career.
First Set: Minnesota the match with a 25-16 first set win when it hit .417 to the Wildcats' .184. The Gophers were led by Wittman, who had five kills and hit .385, ,while Dixon added four kills in eight attempts. Minnesota jumped out to a 9-3 lead and forced the Wildcats to burn its first timeout. The Gophers continued its lead at 15-7 on a kill from Wittman and added another kill at the 18-10 mark. Dixon would get her fourth of the set for Minnesota's 21st point, while a Hannah Tapp kill pushed it to set point. The Gophers closed out the first on a Northwestern attack error.
Second Set: Minnesota produced six blocks in the set, while Santana had six kills to lead the Gophers to a 25-17 second set win. Minnesota held a 10-6 lead when Tapp and Nora combined for block. Minnesota earned its 14th point on a block from Tapp and Nora, while Santana had two kills at the 17-10 and again at the 18-11 mark. Wittman added her third kill of the set at 22-16 and Santana closed out the set with her sixth kill of the set to go up, 2-0 over the Wildcats.
Third Set: Northwestern came out of the break and used a 7-0 run to propel the Wildcats to a 13-7 lead. After the Wildcats started with a 4-0 run to start the third set, the Gophers would tie it up at four. However, Northwestern went on the run, which included two blocks for the 11-4 mark. Minnesota cut the lead to five on a Wittman kill (15-10). As Nora closed the gap to 21-17, the Wildcats would bring it to set point on a kill from Katie Dutchman. The Gophers would collect four-straight points on a Northwestern service error, followed by a Gopher block, a kill from Nora and another block. The Wildcats, however, closed out the set with another kill from Dutchman to win, 25-22.
Fourth Set: Minnesota and Northwestern went through eight tie scored and three lead changes before Minnesota pulled away at the end of the fourth for the 3-1 win. After tying at 11-11, Northwestern went on a small run and took a 15-12 lead off a kill from Kayla Morin. The Wildcats led the lead until Wittman and Nora added back-to-back kills to tie the set at 19-19. The two tied again at 20 and again at 21 on a Dixon kill. Minnesota would get two kills from Santana to go up, 23-21 before Dixon produced her 13th kill of the match. After a Northwestern kill, Dixon closed the match out with her 14th kill and a 3-1 win.
Gophers earn No. 2 seed in NCAA Tournament
Minnesota will host the first and second rounds at the Sports Pavilion, hosting Jackson State, UNI and Marquette.
Gopher Volleyball Wins Big Ten Title
Minnesota wins its first Big Ten Conference championship title since 2002 and went 18-2 in league action.
Game Day Live: Gophers at Indiana
Follow the Gophers as they close out the Big Ten Conference season against Indiana, tonight at 6 p.m. CT.