The Minnesota volleyball team (1-0) defeated North Dakota State (0- 4) in three games by scores of 30-20, 30-13, 30-14 on Friday, Sept. 2 in its season opener in the Diet Coke Classic at the Sports Pavilion. Minnesota’s win moves it to 8-2 in home opener under Mike Hebert.
Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) led the way with a career-high 10 kills, as she hit .529 (10 -1-17) on the night for the Golden Gophers. Jones also had four blocks on the night to tie a match-high. Malama Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) finished with a career-high nine kills and nine digs.
Junior setter Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) had six kills, five digs and a match-high 23 assists, while senior libero Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara’, Brazil) had a match-high 25 digs.
Minnesota jumped out to an early 8-6 lead in the first game, but pushed out to 14-8 with a 6-2 run. North Dakota State cut the lead to 14-12 with four straight points. With the score at 18-15, Bowman had a kill and Peniata had a service ace sandwiched around a Bison error to push it to 21-15.
The Golden Gophers proceeded to rattle off five of the next six points to finish off what was an 8-1 run to make it 26-16. Minnesota pushed it to game point at 29-20, before Gentil delivered a service ace to give the Golden Gophers game one.
Minnesota outhit North Dakota State .300 to .118 in the first game. Jones hit .714 (5-0-7) with five kills in the game, while Bowman had four kills.
In the second game, Minnesota had an early 8-6 lead before rattling off nine of the next 10 points to push it out to 17-7. The Golden Gophers finally capped off an extended 17-5 run to push the lead out to 25-11. Minnesota eventually closed out the game at 30-13.
Minnesota limited North Dakota State to a -.081 hitting percentage in the game, while hitting .306. Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) led the way with a four kills in the game, while Gentil had 10 digs.
The Golden Gophers led 10-7 early in the third game, before scoring 12 of the next 17 points to go up 22-12. With the score at 24-14, Minnesota proceeded to score the final six points of the match to close out game three 30-14.
Minnesota outhit the Bison .475 to .026 in the third game. Peniata led the way with six kills, while freshman Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) had five. Gentil also had 12 digs in the game. The Golden Gophers had 23 kills in the game to just eight for North Dakota State.
Roehrig finished her first collegiate match with eight kills and tied a match-high with four blocks for Minnesota. Freshman setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had 19 assists in her first collegiate match.
Doneila Jackson (Plant City, Fla.) had her first collegiate kill in the match, while Kelly Schmidt (Champaign, Ill.) tallied her first collegiate kill as she finished with two kills in three swings. Kelly Fallon (Burlington, Minn.) also had three digs and one service aces in her first career match.
Minnesota outhit North Dakota State .368 to .018 for the match, and had 50 kills to the Bison’s 27.
“I thought we came out and played well tonight in our first match together with a lot of new players,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “We started off a little slow on the defensive end in the first game, but really picked it up the second two games.”
North Dakota State was led by Sheila Parrish, who had seven kills and six digs. Kari Fagnan had 10 digs on the night.
Earlier in the night Xavier defeated Central Florida in three games by scores of 30-18, 31 -29, 30-27.
Minnesota will return to action in the Diet Coke Classic on Saturday, Sept. 3 when it plays Central Florida at 12:30 p.m. and Xavier at 7:30 p.m. North Dakota State and Xavier will play the first match of the day at 10 a.m., and Central Florida and the Bison wi