Gophers Advance to NCAA Second Round
Dec. 2, 2011
The No. 19 University of Minnesota volleyball team earned a three-set win over North Dakota State, tonight in the first round of the NCAA Championships at the Sports Pavilion. With the win, the Golden Gophers (19-11) advance to the second round and will face Washington, tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. also at the Sports Pavilion.
Minnesota was led by senior Hailey Cowles, who had 13 kills and hit .323, while Ariana Filho hit .688 (11-0-16). Also earning double-digit kills was Ashley Wittman, while Tori Dixon had nine kills. Mia Tabberson had a match-high 46 assists and Jessica Granquist had a match-high 19 digs.
The Golden Gophers hit .289 compared to NDSU's .135 in the first set to take it, 25-17. Cowles hit .462 in the first set as she had seven kills. Ariana Filho had four kills and hit for .800 in the first set, while Tabberson had 15 assists. The two teams had five tie scores and two lead changes in the first. Tied at 6-6, Minnesota would later go on a five-point run, putting the set at 16-10. Minnesota would later close out the first set with back-to-back kills by Cowles.
The Gophers then hit .439 to propel them to a 25-21 second-set win. Minnesota never trailed in the second set and only held a tie at 2-2 as the Gophers led the remainder of the time. NDSU inched closer at 12-11, but the Gophers increased its lead to 16-12 on a kill from Harms and later a 19-15 lead on a kill from Dixon. Minnesota would get its last two set points with kills from Cowles and Harms to close it out.
The two teams would have 19 tie scores and nine lead changes in the third set, but the Gophers would prevail and win, 26-24. Minnesota would continue to outhit the Bison, .250 to .156 in the third set capitalizing two more kills in the third (17 to 15). Ariana Filho would hit .750 in the third set, while Wittman had seven kills in the set. Minnesota trailed even at 19-16. After an attack error by NDSU, Minnesota had a kill by Wittman and an ace by Cowles to tie the set at 19-19. Minnesota and NDSU would exchange points throughout the set as Brynn Joki and Dixon each had kills for 20 all. NDSU would have an attack error and then a kill, while Wittman had a kill and an error. Joki had an ace, but Filho would have a kill to tie it at 23. NDSU's Lauren Cammack would get the kill, while NDSU would then have an attack error to tie it at 24. Dixon and Harms would combine for a block to take a one-point lead, while NDSU ended the match with an attack error to give the Gophers the match in three.
Washington/Western Michigan match
The Washington Huskies earned a spot in the second round of the NCAA Championships with a four-set win over Western Michigan (25-13, 20-25, 25-22, 25-16), Dec. 2 at the Sports Pavilion.
Washington hit .362 to Western Michigan's .250 en route to the four set win and held an 8-1 block . Washington took the first set, but Western Michigan came back and won the second, 25-20, to go into the break tied at 1-1. However, Washington put away the Broncos in the next two sets to advance to the second round.
The Huskies were led by Krista Vansant, who had a match-high 25 kills and hit .440. Gabbi Parker and Kylin Munoz each had 10 kills, while Jenna Orlandini had 26 digs. Setters Jennie Nogueras had 31 assists, while Evan Sanders had 24.
The Broncos had 13-kill nights from both Jessica Brown and Gillian Asque, who each hit. 235. Terin Norris had a match-high 54 assists, while Lena Oliver had a match-high 26 kills.