Nov. 16, 2013
The No. 11 University of Minnesota Golden Gophers fell to No. 2 Penn State in three sets at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday evening in front of a sold-out crowd. The Gophers drew a season-best 5,748 fans, which ranked the second-best overall attendance crowd in Sports Pavilion history. The top attendance crowd was back in 1999, also against Penn State, and drew 5,840 fans.
Minnesota dropped to 23-6 overall and 11-5 in the Big Ten. Penn State improved to 24-2 overall and 15-1 in league action.
Ashley Wittman led the Gophers in kills (13) and digs (12) tonight for her third-straight double-double and 12th of the year. Tori Dixon hit a team-best .318 (10-3-22), while Hannah Tapp had a team-best four blocks. Katie Schau led in assists (18), while Alexandra Palmer had 15.
The Nittany Lions led in kills (50-39), blocks (10-6) and digs (43-40). PSU also hit .304 to Minnesota's .207.
Minnesota looks to regroup and plays Michigan and Michigan State next weekend. Friday's match is slated for a 6 p.m. match, while the Gophers play Saturday against the Spartans at 5:30 p.m.
First Set: Penn State utilized 16 kills and a 69 percent side out ratio to win the first set, 25-20. PSU jumped out to a 9-4 lead. Minnesota would come back and trail 16-14 on a kill from Wittman and came within one on a PSU attack error. Penn State, however, would pull away at the 19-16 mark on a kill from Micha Hancock. The Nittany Lions would close out the first set on two kills from Ariel Scott and an ace by Hancock.
Second Set: Penn State hit a .412 clip in the second set to win, 25-17 and go up, 2-0. PSU went up, 13-5 on a kill from Hancock. Katie Slay and Megan Courtney would put the Nittany Lions 17-8 on a block as Minnesota took a timeout. The Gophers would get their 13th point on a kill from Wittman. As PSU held a 22-14 lead, Minnesota would get points on a PSU service error, a kill from Santana and a kill from Dixon before PSU's Courtney ended the set for a kill.
Third Set: Minnesota and Penn State exchanged 16 tie scores and six lead changes before Penn State won the deciding set, 25-23. Minnesota trailed 12-9 and rattled off three points to take a 13-12 lead. After a PSU attack error, Dixon and Karlie Hauer combined for back-to-back blocks. Minnesota went up two on a kill from Wittman and an ace by Dixon to lead, 16-14. However, PSU came back and led 20-17 off of three-straight points. Minnesota would take a timeout and tie the match at 20. A kill from Tapp, an error from PSU and block from Santana Tapp would lock the two teams at 20. The two teams would tie again at 21 and 22 before Slay and McClendon added a block to go up, 23-22. Another PSU block would put it at set point, while Scott ended the match with her 14th kill of the night.
Wilhite, Seliger-Swenson Garner Weekly Awards
Wilhite was named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week, while Seliger-Swenson was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
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.