Minnesota Defeats No. 21 LSU in Three Sets to Win Bluejay Invitational The 16th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-0) defeated No. 21 LSU (2-1) in three sets by scores of 25-11, 25-21, 25-22 to win the Bluejay Invitational in Omaha, Neb. on Saturday, Aug. 30.
The 16th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-0) defeated No. 21 LSU (2-1) in three sets by scores of 25-11, 25-21, 25-22 to win the Bluejay Invitational in Omaha, Neb. on Saturday, Aug. 30.
With the tournament victory, Minnesota started its season 3-0 on the road for the first time since it did so in 2000.
Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) was named the tournament's MVP, while Rachel Hartmann also received Bluejay Invitational All-Tournament team honors.
The Golden Gophers were led by Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) who had a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs, along with three solo blocks. Pam Luiz (Limeira, Brazil) had eight kills, seven digs and two blocks, while Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) finished with eight kills and two blocks.
Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) had 11 digs and one service ace, while Hailey Cowles (Eden Prairie, Minn.) had 10 digs and a kill. Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) 31 assists, two blocks and two kills for Minnesota on the night.
As a team, the Golden Gophers outhit LSU .260 to .089, and had 39 kills to 35 for the Tigers. Minnesota also outblocked its opponent for a third match in a row with 11.0 blocks to four for LSU.
Minnesota jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the first set against LSU. The Tiger responded with four of the next six points to cut the lead to 10-7. The Golden Gophers responded with a kill by Luiz and a solo block by Gibbemeyer to spark a 12-1 run that put Minnesota ahead 22-8.
LSU scored three of the next four points to make it 23-11. Kelly Schmidt (Champaign, Ill.) delivered a kill to make it set point at 24-11, and the Golden Gophers won the set when Angela Bensend hit attack attempt wide.
The Golden Gophers outhit LSU .345 to .000 in the first set, and had 12 kills to eight for the Tigers. Minnesota also outblocked LSU 5.0-to-1.0 in the first set. Gibbemeyer led the Golden Gophers with four kills and hit .571 (4-0-7) in the game.
In the second set, the two teams exchanged the first 14 points. Minnesota became the first team to score consecutive points in the game and pushed the score to 9-7. After LSU scored the next point, Minnesota answered with back-to-back kills by Dieter that helped the Golden Gophers move ahead 12-9.
The Tigers closed the gap, as they scored six of the next nine points to tie the set at 15. Minnesota responded with a 5-0 run capped by a solo block by Dieter to move ahead 20-15. LSU came right back with three straight points to make it 20-18.
It appeared the Tigers had cut the lead to one point when Angela Bensend delivered a kill, however she was called for contacting the net. Dieter followed with a solo block, and Tan delivered a service ace to make it 23-18. LSU scored three of the next four points to make it 24-21. However, Dieter closed out the set with a kill to give the Golden Gophers a 2-0 lead in the match.
Minnesota outhit LSU .167 to .114 in the second set, and had 13 kills to the Tigers’ 11. Dieter led the Golden Gophers with six kills and two solo blocks in the set, while Luiz had three kills and five digs.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third set, but LSU scored the next three points to tie it. Minnesota responded with six of the next seven points, and took a 10-5 lead on a solo block by Schmidt. The Golden Gophers pushed the lead to 14-9, before the Tigers responded with consecutive points to make it 14-11.
Minnesota answered with three straight points to go up 17-11 when Dieter and Gibbemeyer sandwiched kills around an attack error by the Tigers. LSU scored three of the next four points to cut the Golden Gopher lead to 18-14. Roehrig responded by sandwiching a pair of kills around a kill by Luiz to move the Minnesota lead to 21-14.
LSU fought back with eight of the next nine points to tie the set at 22. Dieter delivered a kill to put Minnesota ahead 23-22, and the Tigers followed with a pair of attack errors to help the Golden Gophers win the match in three sets.
Minnesota will travel to Honolulu to participate in the Honolulu Advertiser Classic on Sept. 4-6. The Golden Gophers will face No. 12 Hawai’i on Thursday, Sept. 4 at (CT). Minnesota will also take on Cincinnati on Saturday, Sept. 6 at (CT) and Wyoming on Sept. 6 at (CT). All three matches can be heard live on gophersports.com.