Gophers Fall to Stanford in Sweet 16
Dec. 13, 2013
The No. 10 University of Minnesota volleyball team fell in three sets to Stanford, tonight in the NCAA Regional Semifinal in Lexington, Ky. The loss ends the Golden Gophers' season as it finished, 29-7 overall this year.
Minnesota was led by Ashley Wittman, who had 17 kills and 43 attempts. Daly Santana had 13 kills and posted a team-high 17 digs. Tori Dixon had 12 kills hit a team-best .440 and had an ace. Katie Schau had 30 assists, while Alexandra Palmer had 13. Lindsey Lawmaster had 15 digs.
The match ended college careers for Dixon, Palmer and Wittman, who made significant contributions to the Gopher program. Wittman finished her career with 1,778 kills, while Dixon had 1,479.
First Set: Stanford took a 1-0 lead on a 28-26 first set win. As the two teams were tied at 9-9, the Cardinal went on a 4-0 run for a 13-9 lead. Minnesota, however, could eventually tie up the set at 19-19 on back-to-back kills from Wittman. Stanford would call a timeout and go up, 22-20 before Minnesota called a timeout. As the Cardinal led, 24-22, Dixon added a kill to make it a one-point deficit and Santana had an ace to tie it at 24. From there, Minnesota and Stanford would tie it up again twice before Brittany Howard connected for back-to-back kills as the Cardinal went up, 1-0 and a 28-26 set win.
Second Set: Stanford used a .364 second-set hitting clip to go up, 2-0 and win the second set, 25-23. Minnesota jumped out to a 14-11 lead on a block from Hannah Tapp and Wittman. Stanford called a timeout and would later tie up the set, 16-16 and take the lead on a Madi Bugg ace. As the Cardinal went up, 20-18, Minnesota responded and tied the set at 20 on kills from Karlie Hauer and Wittman. The two teams tied again at 22 and 23 before Stanford took a timeout. They closed out the set with a kill from Howard and a block from Carly Wopat and Bugg for a 2-0 lead.
Third Set: Minnesota hit .308 in the third set, and erased a 17-13 deficit, but couldn't overcome the Cardinal as they won, 25-22. Stanford used a 12-8 lead and increased the lead to 15-11 on a Gopher attack error. Minnesota, however, would start to close the gap after Stanford went up, 17-13. After a kill by Wittman and Tapp, the Cardinal would have a ball handling error and an attack errors to put the score at 19-17, and a block by Didxon and Nora for a 19-18 deficit. Minnesota would have a kill from Santana and a Cardinal attack error locked the score at 20-20. Minnesota got two kills from Dixon and Wittman for a 22-21 lead, but Stanford called a timeout and added three-straight for a 25-22 win.
Minnesota Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon
Opening statement …
On Minnesota’s struggles to execute in key-situations …
On the outgoing seniors …
#13, Ashley Wittman, OH
On her match-high 17 kills …
On the Minnesota’s struggles to execute in key-situations …
On looking back on her career …
#1, Daly Santana, OH
“Overall as a team we have ups and downs. That’s what volleyball is. Today I tried my best to play one play at a time and keep working hard. It was a good game, we just couldn’t finish at the right times. We will make sure we are ready for the next season. We will use this game as a learning experience.”