Gophers Fall to No. 4 Nebraska
Nov. 16, 2011
The No. 19 University of Minnesota volleyball team fell in four sets to No. 4 Nebraska, 25-17, 18-25, 15-25, 16-25), tonight in Lincoln, Neb. With the loss, it drops Minnesota to 15-11 overall and 8-9 in the Big Ten Conference. Nebraska improves to 22-3 overall and 15-2 in conference play.
Ashley Wittman led the Gophers with her 16th double double of the season (15 kills and 13 digs), while Tori Dixon had 13 kills. Ariana Filho hit .357 (5-0-14), while Brianna Haugen hit .500 (3-0-6). Jessica Granquist had a match-high 25 digs.
The Golden Gophers took the first set, 25-17 for the early 1-0 lead. As the two teams were tied, 10-10, Minnesota went up, 13-10 and then 15-12 at the media timeout. Minnesota then went on a 10-4 run to close out the first set. Out of the media timeout, Nebraska had a kill to close the deficit to two, but Minnesota added two more points to go up 17-13 with kills from Wittman and Katherine Harms and forced Nebraska to take a timeout. After Harms had back-to-back aces, Minnesota held a commanding 22-15. Minnesota then had a kill by Dixon and an attack error by Nebraska to close out the first set. Minnesota hit .308 (11 kills, three errors in 26 attempts) in the first set and had three aces (two by Harms, one by McNeil). Wittman had five kills (hit .429), while Filho had three (hit .750). Nebraska committed nine attack errors and hit .105 in the first.
Nebraska stormed back and won the second set, 25-18 to tie the match at 1-1. Nebraska jumped out to a 10-5 lead and later a 15-10 lead en route to the win. The Gophers trailed at one point, 22-13, but battled back throughout the set. After a Nebraska attack error, Minnesota had an ace from Steffi Sooter. After Huskers' Gina Mancuso had a kill, Dixon and Wittman each added a kill to put it at 23-17 and forced Nebraska to take a timeout. After an attack error and kill by Wittman, Nebraska won the set, with a kill from Morgan Broekhuis. Minnesota hit .231 to Nebraska's .343. Wittman added another seven kills.
Nebraska controlled the third set jumping out to a 14-6 lead en route to a 25-15 win. Minnesota attempted a short comeback when Dixon had back-to-back kills to put the set at 23-15, but after a Minnesota service error, Nebraska closed out the set with blocks from Jordan Wilberger, Jordan and Lauren Cook. The Huskers hit .325, while Minnesota hit .901 in the set.
Minnesota tied the fourth set at 11-11, but Nebraska added three-straight points to go up, 14-11 to force Minnesota to take a timeout. Nebraska would go up, 20-13 when Nebraska's Brooke Delano capitalized on back-to-back kills. Minnesota would fall in the final set, 25-16.
Minnesota will face Iowa on Saturday night. The game is set to begin at 7 p.m. at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Gophersports.com will provide free audio and a live chat.