In a rematch of the 2004 National Championship match, the ninth-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (1-2) dropped a four-game decision to No. 2 Stanford (3-0) by scores of 26-30, 30-23, 30-26, 30-23 at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday, Sept. 1. In the earlier match, No. 23 Ohio University (4-0) defeated No. 12 San Diego (2-2) in five games by scores of 30-28, 25-30, 22-30, 30-26, 15-12.
With the loss, Minnesota dropped to 0-2 in the Diet Coke Classic. Stanford moved to 2-0 in the tournament. The Cardinal will play Ohio University, who moved to 2-0 in the tournament earlier today, for the Diet Coke Classic Championship. San Diego is also 0-2 in the tournament.
“I thought we did a great job competing Stanford in games one through three,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “We went point-for-point with then all the way up until the beginning of game four, and then they wore us down with all their weapons. They are look a good offensive line in football. They lean on you for the whole match and wear you down as it progresses. I thought our block did a great job in the match, and our left-side hitters were very good against a very tough group of blockers for Stanford. I was happy with the effort of our young team against Stanford.”
The Golden Gophers were led by freshman Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) who had a third-straight double-double with 15 kills and 14 digs. Dieter, who became the first freshman since 1998 to record double-figure kills in her first three career games, also had a career-high five blocks.
Junior outside hitter Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) had 14 kills and four blocks on the night, while Senior middle blocker Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) finished with 10 kills and a match-high eight blocks. Freshman middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) also had nine kills, five blocks and two service aces.
Junior setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) finished with 41 assists and 11 digs. Sophomore libero Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) finished with 19 digs and a service ace. Hailey Cowles (Eden Prairie, Minn.) had 10 digs and two service aces, while Kelly Roysland (Fosston, Minn.) finished with nine digs.
Minnesota was outhit .242 to .170, but held Stanford .158 points lower then their early-season average of .400. The Cardinal had 75 kills to 54 for the Golden Gophers. However, Minnesota outblocked Stanford 17.0-to-9.5. The Golden Gophers have 34 blocks in the two Diet Coke Classic matches.
After splitting the first two games, Minnesota jumped out to a 10-8 lead in game three. Stanford answered quickly with a 5-0 run to move ahead 13-10. The Golden Gophers responded with four of the next five points and tied it at 14 on a kill by Jones. The Cardinal scored three of the next four points to pull ahead 17-15, but Minnesota came right back with four of the next six points and tied the game again on a kill by Gibbemeyer.
The teams exchanged points, as another Gibbemeyer kill tied the game at 20. Stanford rattled off three straight points to go ahead 23-20. After an attack error by the Cardinal, Jones and Dieter had back-to-back solo blocks to tie it at 23. Stanford move back ahead 25-23 with consecutive points, but Dieter delivered a kill and after a Cardinal attack error it was tied at 25.
Stanford pressured Minnesota again with three straight points to go up 28-25. After a block by Jones and Dieter cut it to 28-26, the Cardinal scored the last two points to take the third game and move ahead 2-1 in the match.
Minnesota was outhit .318 to .244 in the game, and Stanford had 21 kills to 15 for the Golden Gophers. Dieter and Gibbemeyer finished with five and four kills respectively in the third game.
Stanford jumped out to a 9-5 lead in game four, but Minnesota answered with four straight points, and cut it to 9-8 on a Hartmann service ace. The Cardinal scored four of the next five to move back up by four points 13-9. Stanford expanded the lead to 18-12, before Minnesota cut it to 19-14 after a Cardinal service error. Stanford came right back to push it out to 23-14, and eventually expanded its lead out to 26-16.
Minnesota would cut it to six points at 29-23 after fighting off two match points, but Erin Waller delivered a kill to give Stanford the four-game victory.
Stanford limited Minnesota to .050 hitting percentage in game four, and had 20 kills to 11. The Golden Gophers did outblock the Cardinal 6.0-to-2.5 in game four. Dieter led the way with four kills.
Minnesota set the tone right away in the first game as it jumped out to a 5-2 lead, paced by a pair of service aces and a block by Gibbemeyer. Stanford cut the Golden Gopher lead to 5-4, but the Golden Gophers ran off eight of the next nine points to move ahead 13-5. During that run Jones had a pair of kills, while Roehrig had a kill and a solo block.
The Cardinal scored four of the next five points to cut it to 14-9, but Minnesota responded with consecutive points to push its lead back out to seven. After Stanford cut it to 16-11, the Golden Gophers scored consecutive points on a Cardinal error and a Jones kill. Stanford scored the next point, but Jones and Katie Vatterrodt (Bloomington, Ill.) delivered back-to-back kills to push the Minnesota lead out to 20-12.
After back-to-back Cardinal points, Minnesota ripped off three straight points to move ahead 23-14. Stanford answered with a 5-1 run to cut it to 24-19, but Roehrig delivered a kill to halt the Cardinal momentum to make it 25-19. Minnesota maintained its edge when it pushed it to game point at 29-23. After Stanford fought off two game points, Jones put it away with a kill to give the Golden Gophers game one.
Minnesota limited Stanford to a .146 hitting percentage in the game, while it hit .238. The Golden Gophers also outblocked the Cardinal 5.0-to-1.0. Roehrig had six kills in the game, while Jones had five kills and two blocks.
Stanford jumped out to an 8-4 lead in game one, but Minnesota responded by scoring five of the next six points to tie it at nine. The Cardinal moved back ahead by three points at 16-13, however Dieter sandwiched a kill and a service ace around a Stanford error to tie it at 16. The Cardinal immediately responded with four straight points to move ahead 20-16.
Minnesota cut the lead to 24-21, but Stanford answered with three of the next four points to push its lead to 27-22 to force a Golden Gopher timeout. Out of the timeout, the Cardinal scored three of the final four points to close out the game and tie the match at one game apiece.
Stanford outhit the Golden Gophers .226 to .143, and had 19 kills to Minnesota’s 12. Dieter led the Golden Gophers with four kills in the game.
For the match, the Cardinal was led by Cynthia Barboza who had 17 kills, 14 digs and hit .317 (17-4-41). Freshman Alix Klineman had 17 kills and two service aces, while Foluke Akinradewo hit .393 (14-3-28) with 14 kills and seven blocks.
Minnesota will be back in action when it faces No. 12 San Diego on Sunday, Sept. 2 at 1:30 p.m. Ohio University and Stanford will face off in the final match of the tournament at 4 p.m.