Gophers Fall in Four to No. 3 Penn State
Nov. 2, 2012
The No. 10 University of Minnesota volleyball team fell in four sets (21-25, 19-25, 25-23 and 21-25) to No. 3 Penn State, tonight in State College, Pa. With the loss, the Golden Gophers fall to 19-5 on the season and 10-3 in the Big Ten. Penn State improves to 22-2 this year and 12-1 in conference play.
Tori Dixon had nine kills and hit a team-best .364 hitting percentage and a career-high 11 total blocks (three solo, eight assists). Ashley Wittman had a double double 12 kills and 11 digs, while Lindsey Lawmaster had a team-high 13 digs. Despite the Gophers outhitting PSU, .207 to .204 and outblocking the Lions 16.0 to 9.0, PSU had 58 kills and 72 digs to win in four. The 16 blocks were the most by the Gophers this season.
Penn State took the first set when it outhit the Gophers .250 to .103. Minnesota opened the set on a 3-0 start, only to have PSU come back and go on a 6-0 run to take lead for the remainder. Minnesota would close the gap a couple of times within the set, including 17-16 when Dana Knudsen had a kill and again at 18-17 on a PSU attack error. The Nittany Lions would go up, 21-17, only to have the Gophers again try and attempt a tie. Minnesota would put the score at 23-21 when Santana would have an ace as PSU called a timeout. Santana would have a service error, while Scott finished off the set on a kill to go up, 1-0.
PSU used a 7-1 run and hit .302 in the second set to win it, 25-19. Minnesota trailed 20-12, but Minnesota attempted a comeback at the end of the set when it went on a 5-2 run. Katherine Harms had a kill, while Dixon and Daly Santana had a block. After a PSU service error, Minnesota would have another block from Dixon and Mia Tabberson, while PSU had an attack error. However, the Lions would close out the set with Scott's 14th and 15th kills of the night.
Minnesota came out of the break and hit .353 to PSU's .077 and won the third set, 25-23. The two teams would go through five lead changes and eight tie scores before the Gophers took the set. Minnesota held a 21-18 lead in the set, only to have PSU push back and tie it at 21-21. Minnesota jumped up four (21-18) with two kills from Wittman and one from Harms, while PSU had an attack error. PSU would tie the set later on two kills and a service ace. Knudsen would provide the Gophers' 22nd point, followed by Wittman for the 23rd. Minnesota would push the score to set point on a block by Knudsen and Harms. After a Gopher service error, Minnesota would go to Harms for the set win at 25-23.
The Lions would, however, rebound and take the fourth and final set, winning the match, 25-21. PSU jumped out to a 15-11 score on a kill by Slay and a 19-14 lead off a block by Slay. After PSU held a 21-18 lead, Minnesota would go on a 4-1 run and put the set at 22-21. After a kill by Harms and Santana, Dixon provided a block in the middle on Slay. Santana would put it at 22-21 on a service ace. PSU, however, would add three-straight kills from Megan Courtney to end the set and the match, 25-21.
Minnesota plays Ohio State, Sunday at 1 p.m. CT in Columbus, Ohio.