Minnesota Claims Gopher Invite Championship Minnesota defeated Marquette in three sets by scores of 27-25, 25-17, 25-22 to win the Gopher Invite Championship.
The Minnesota volleyball team (3-0) defeated Marquette (2-1) in three sets by scores of 27-25, 25-17, 25-22 to win the Gopher Invite Championship.
Minnesota finished 3-0, Marquette went 2-1, Denver went 1-2 and Stony Brook finished 0-3. Junior libero Jessica Granquist (Blaine, Minn.) was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament. Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.), Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) and Tabi Love (Dauphin, Manitoba) were also named to the All-Tournament team for Minnesota. Nikki Klingsporn and Rabbecka Gronyo received the honors for Marquette, and Kresson Vreeman from Denver rounded out the team.
Love had a match-high 18 kills, hit .438 (18-4-32), had seven digs and recorded three blocks. Wittman hit .636 (15-1-22) with 15 kills and six digs, while Dixon finished with 11 kills, two blocks and hit .400 (11-3-20). Junior Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) had a match-high five blocks and six kills. Stephanie Nucci (Gilbert, Ariz.) recorded a career-high 50 assists, to with seven digs and four blocks.
Minnesota trailed 20-19 in the first set, before a Golden Eagle attack error and a Gibbemeyer kill gave the Gophers a 21-20 lead. Wittman eventually gave Minnesota its first set point at 24-23. Marquette's Ciara Jones delivered a kill to tie it at 24, but Love made it set point at 25-24 with a kill. After Marquette tied it at 25, Love delivered a kill and combined on a block with Gibbemeyer to give the Gophers the first set.
The Gophers hit .444 in the second set en route to a 25-17 victory to go up 2-0. Minnesota continued its hot hitting with a .485 hitting percentage in the third set as a team. With the Gophers leading 22-21, Love delivered back-to-back kills to make it match point at 24-21. After Marquette fought off the first match point, Gibbemeyer delivered a kill to give Minnesota the three-set victory.
Overall, Minnesota outhit Marquette .436 to .257 on the night, and had 11.0 blocks to 3.0. For the weekend, the Gophers outhit their opposition .410 (139-28-271) to .107 (100-67-308) and outblocked them by an average of 3.67 blps to 0.56.
Marquette was led by Beyer who had 15 kills on the night, but was limited to a .171 hitting percentage. Gonyo had nine kills and a block, while Danielle Carlson finished with nine kills. Klingsporn had 40 assists, 10 digs and four kills.
Minnesota will be back in action when it hosts the Diet Coke Classic on Sept. 3-4. The Gophers will face Baylor on Friday, Sept. 3 at 8 p.m., No. 24 Northern Iowa on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 11 a.m. and No. 21 Dayton on Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. All those matches can be seen in the Gold Zone.