atThe sixth-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (0-3) fell to No. 13 UCLA in three games by scores of 30-27, 30-21, 30-19 at the Stan Sheriff Center on Sunday, Aug. 31. With the loss Minnesota finished at 0-3 in the Hawaiian Airlines Tournament.
In the first game the two teams were tied 6-6, before UCLA scored eight of the next 11 points to go up 14-9. Minnesota answered with a 6-1 run to tie the score at 15. However, the Bruins would answer by scoring five of the next six points to go up 20-16. With a 24-22 lead, UCLA scored the next three points to go up 27-22. Minnesota scored four of the next six points, but the Bruins closed out the game at 30-27 to go up 1-0 in the match. Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) paced the Golden Gopher attack with six kills in the first game. UCLA outhit Minnesota .277 to .170 in the game.
UCLA jumped out to a 11-10 lead in game two. At that point the Bruins scored five of the next six points to extend the lead to 16-11. UCLA continued widen the gap scoring eight of the next 13 points to go up 24-16. Minnesota would get no closer then seven points, as UCLA closed out game two 30-21 to go up 2-0 in the match. Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) and Busse each had five kills, while redshirt freshman Athena Mallakis (Simi Valley, Calif.) recorded her first career block. UCLA outhit Minnesota .333 to .186, taking advantage of nine Golden Gopher errors in the game.
In game three UCLA jumped out to an 18-9 lead and never looked back, as it won game three 30-19. The Bruins ouhit Minnesota .325 to .128 in the game.
Busse led the way for Minnesota with 11 kills. Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara', Brazil) had a match-high 18 digs. Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) had 34 assists and 14 digs in the match. Mallakis had two kills, one block and one service ace in her first collegiate match with the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota was outhit .309 to .163 on the match. The Golden Gophers also struggled with the serve with 13 service errors.
Brynn Murphy and Cira Wright paced the UCLA attack with 11 and 10 kills respectively.
Minnesota will return home to host the Nike Invitational on Friday, Sept. 5 and Saturday, Sept. 6. The tournament field will consist of Dayton, Kansas and Marquette. The Golden Gophers will start off by playing Kansas on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m.