Gophers Fall in Four to Michigan State
Nov. 9, 2012
The No. 10 University of Minnesota volleyball program fell in four sets to Michigan State, tonight in East Lansing, Mich. With the loss the Gophers drop to 20-6 on the season and 11-4 in the Big Ten. Michigan State has now won its last four of five Big Ten Conference matches and improves to 20-7 overall and 8-7 in conference play.
Katherine Harms led the Gophers with 16 kills in 42 attempts for a .310 hitting percentage. Dana Knudsen hit .500 when she had eight kills on 14 swings, while Ashley Wittman had nine kills and Tori Dixon had eight. Daly Santana had a career-best 20 digs, followed by Wittman and Lindsey Lawmaster with 13 digs. Alexandra Palmer had 34 assists. MSU outhit the Gophers .259 to .218 and held a 57-47 advantage in kills.
MSU hit .357 to Minnesota’s .167 clip to take the first set, 25-20. MSU built a 15-8 and 18-13 lead, only to have Minnesota come back and tie the set at 20-20. Minnesota went on a 6-1 run and tied the set at 19 on a kill from Wittman. After a Gopher service error and another kill from Wittman, the set was tied at 20. However, MSU rattled off five-straight points to close out the set and take a 1-0 lead.
Minnesota put the match at 1-1 with a 25-17 second-set win. The Gophers jumped out to a 10-6 lead on back-to-back kills from Wittman and Santana. Minnesota increased its lead to 20-15 on a 9-1 run. After a kill by Harms and a kill by MSU’s Lauren Wicinski, Minnesota rattled off the next three points for the five-point lead at the 20-15 mark. Knudsen provided a kill, followed by an ace by Santana and a block by Dixon and Harms. After a MSU block, Minnesota added to its lead with four-straight points. The run started on an attack error on MSU, then an ace by Harms, a block by Dixon and Santana and another ace by Harms, the Gophers pushed it to set point. After a kill by MSU's Amy Dentlinger, Minnesota closed out the set on a Harms kill.
MSU would take the next two sets to close out the match on 25-21 and 25-20 set wins. The Spartans hit .306 in the third set to Minnesota’s .250 to go up 2-1. Wittman had five kills in the third set, while Harms had four, but MSU dispersed kills from Kelsey Kuipers and Taylor Galloway for four and three in the third set en route to the team’s 14 set kills. MSU went up 14-10 to Amy Dentlinger before Minnesota battled back and eventually tied the set at 17-17. Trailing 17-13, Minnesota added four-straight points with a kill from Wittman and Harms while MSU provided a bad set and an attack error. Exchanging points to a 21 tie score, MSU would finish off the set with four-straight points.
Despite Harms having eight kills in 18 swings, Minnesota fell in the final set, 25-20. Like the third set, MSU had five players with two of more kills in the set. The two teams went through 13 tie scores and four lead changes before MSU pulled away in the end of the set. Tied at 17 all, MSU went on a 7-3 run for the set win. At 23-19, Minnesota called a timeout and came out of it with a Dixon kill. However, Kuipers and Jazmine White have two kills to end the set and the match.
Minnesota looks to rebound as it travels to Michigan tomorrow at 6 p.m. CT. Michigan defeated Wisconsin, 3-0.