Nov. 19, 2011
Middle blockers Ariana Filho and Tori Dixon led the No. 19 University of Minnesota volleyball team to a four-set win (23-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-19) over the Iowa Hawkeyes, tonight in Iowa City, Iowa. Filho tied a career-high 18 kills and a team-best .459 hitting percentage (18-1-37), while Tori Dixon had 15 kills and hit .379. With the win, Minnesota improves to 16-11 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten Conference.
Mia Tabberson started the match and had 55 assists, while Hailey Cowles had a career-high 23 digs. Granquist led the match with 24 digs. Ashley Wittman also had 15 kills, putting three Gophers in double-digit kills. Minnesota also outblocked the Hawkeyes, 11.0-7.0.
Iowa had 17 kills to Minnesota’s 12 in the first set to win it, 25-23. Minnesota trailed late at 20-17, only to come back and tie the set at 23 on a kill from Katherine Harms. Iowa, however, got a kill off the block from Tiffany Nilges, while Megan Eskew earned the set win for the Hawkeyes. The Gophers hit .149 to Iowa’s .250 in the first set as Filho led the Gophers with four kills.
Minnesota battled back to take the second set, 25-18 and tie the match at 1-1 heading into the break. Minnesota went on an 8-2 run towards the end of the second set to close it out for the win. After Dixon capitalized on her eighth kill of the night, Iowa had three-straight hitting errors to close out the set. Minnesota hit .289, while it held Iowa to .083. In the second set, Dixon had six kills in just seven attempts to hit. 857, while Filho had four kills in eight chances for .500.
The Gophers added another 25-18 set win in the third. Minnesota went on a seven-point run early in the third set (9-2) when Mia Tabberson had an ace. The Gophers would then hold a 13-5 lead as Iowa had an attack error. Minnesota hit .250 in the set, while holding Iowa again to .054. Minnesota closed out the set with a kill from Wittman, an attack error by Iowa and a kill by Tabberson to take a 2-1 lead.
The Gophers closed out the match with a 25-19 fourth-set win. Minnesota went up three, 20-17 on an Iowa attack error and made it 22-18 when Harms and Filho combined for a block, forcing Iowa to take a timeout. Out of the timeout, Filho collected her 18th
kill of the night, while Tabberson delivered the Gophers’ sixth ace of the night to make it 24-19. Iowa extended the match with a kill by Eskew, while Wittman closed out the match with a kill.
Minnesota will close out the regular season next week as it hosts Wisconsin on Wednesday night and Indiana Friday night. Both matches are set for 7 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion. Friday will end the regular season and will honor the Gopher seniors Cowles, Granquist and Filho.