Oct. 28, 2011
The No. 15 Minnesota volleyball program fell to Northwestern, 25-23, 25-23 and 25-21, tonight in Evanston, Ill. With the loss, the Gophers fall to 12-8 on the season and 5-6 in the Big Ten Conference. The loss also marks the second-straight year the Gophers have fallen to the Wildcats on their home court, dropping a four-set match on Oct. 10, 2010.
Minnesota was led by Ashley Wittman, who had 14 kills and 10 digs, while Katherine Harms had 12 kills. Hailey Cowles had a team-high 14 kills. Kellie McNeil had her first career start and had 31 assists, one ace, five digs and four block assists.
Northwestern took the first set, 25-23. The Wildcats jumped out to a 14-11 lead and later a 20-16 lead before Minnesota battled back and tied the set each time, including at 23-23. However, the Wildcats closed out the set with back-to-back kills by Madalyn Shalter and Yewande Akanbi to close out the set. Northwestern went up, 2-0, winning the second set, 25-23. Tied at 19 all, the Wildcats went on a four-point run to put the set at 23-19 and then closed it out with a kill by Stephanie Holthus and Akanbi to close out the set.
Northwestern rallied back from a 17-14 deficit in the third set to come back and win the set, 25-21. Northwestern finished the set with a kill by Holthus and Katie Dutchman to close out the set and match. In the third set, the two teams went through six tie scores and five lead changes throughout the third set.
Minnesota will travel to Champaign, Ill., to take on No. 3 Illinois, tomorrow night. The match is set for 7 p.m. at Huff Hall.