Minnesota Defeats St. Louis in Four Games in Season Opener Four Golden Gophers had double-figure kills as the University of Minnesota volleyball team (1-0) won its season opener against St. Louis (3-1) in four games by scores of 32-34, 30-24, 30-18, 30-27 at the Baumann-Eberhardt Center on Friday, Sept. 1.
MinnesotaDefeats St. Louis in Four Games in Season Opener
Four Golden Gophers had double-figure kills as the University of Minnesota volleyball team (1-0) won its season opener against St. Louis (3-1) in four games by scores of 32-34, 30-24, 30-18, 30-27 at the Baumann-EberhardtCenter on Friday, Sept. 1. With the win, the Golden Gophers are now 8-3 in season openers under Mike Hebert and have won the first match of the season three years in a row.
Minnesota was led by Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) who had a career-high 18 kills and tallied eight blocks. Jones also hit .615 (18-2-26) on the night for the Golden Gophers. Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) had her first career double-double with career-highs in kills (15) and blocks (11). The 11 blocks was the first double-figure block effort by a Golden Gopher since Cassie Busse and Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) had 10 against Washington on Dec. 13, 2003.
Sophomore Katie Vatterrodt (Bloomington, Ill.) also had a career-high 15 kills on the night for Minnesota. Nelson had 14 kills and seven blocks for the Golden Gophers.
Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had a career-high 58 assists, 10 digs, four blocks and two service aces on the night in her first start as Minnesota’s primary setter in the 5-1 offense. In her first career match as a Golden Gopher, freshman libero Christine Tan (Palm Harbor, Fla.) had 15 digs and a service ace. Sophomore Krista Chin (Wheeling, Ill.) also had eight digs in her first match at Minnesota.
Minnesota outhit St. Louis .366 to .190 in the match, and outblocked the Billiken 19.0 to 4.0. The Golden Gophers also had 72 kills to 65 for St. Louis.
After dropping game one, the Golden Gophers fell behind 13-10 in game two. On the next two points, Roehrig teamed up on a triple block with Hartmann and Jones and delivered a kill to cut it to 13-12. Hartmann delivered a service ace to tie it at 13. St. Louis took the lead back at 15-14. Meghan Cumpston (Red Bluff, Calif.) and Nelson followed with consecutive kills to give Minnesota its first lead of the game at 16-15.
The Golden Gophers scored three of the next four points to move ahead 19-16. Minnesota pushed the lead out to 22-18 after a Nelson kill. The Golden Gophers pushed the lead out to 26-21 after a Hartmann service ace. Minnesota maintained that cushion, and pushed it to game point at 29-24 after a Cumpston kill. The Golden Gophers scored the next point to take game two 30-24.
Minnesota carried that momentum into game three as it jumped out to an 11-2 lead. The Golden Gophers expanded that lead to 23-11. Minnesota moved on to claim game three by a score of 30-18 to move ahead 2-1 in the match. The Golden Gophers outhit St. Louis .500 to .059 in the third game.
Minnesota jumped out to a 10-4 lead in game three, but St. Louis scored the next five points to make it 10-9. The Golden Gophers scored consecutive points, but the Billikens answered with back-to-back points to make it 12-11. Nelson followed with a kill, and Minnesota scored the next point to move it to 14-11. St. Louis cut it to 14-12, and the two teams exchanged the next eight points to make it 18-16.
The Golden Gophers moved the lead to 21-18, before St. Louis scored three of the next four points to make it 22-21. Roehrig and Jones delivered back-to-back kills to make it 24-21. However, St. Louis scored five of the next six points to take its first lead of the game at 26-25. Vatterrodt followed with a kill to tie it at 26. With the score tied at 27, Nelson delivered a kill to make it 28-27. The Golden Gophers scored the next point to make it match point at 29-27. Nelson and Roehrig combined on a block to give Minnesota the match.
St. Louis scored the first point of game, but Minnesota answered with five straight points to take a 5-1 lead. The Billikens scored four of the next six points to cut the Golden Gopher lead to 7-5. Minnesota answered with three straight points to take a 10-5 lead over the Billikens. St. Louis came back with consecutive points to make it 10-7, but the Golden Gophers answered with consecutive points of their own to take a 12-7 lead.
The Billikens scored eight of the next 11 points to tie the game at 15. Minnesota scored three of the next four points paced by a pair of kills by Roehrig to take an 18-16 lead. St. Louis answered with five of the next six points to take a 21-19 lead over the Golden Gophers. The two teams exchanged points to make it 22-20. Minnesota tied it at 22 when Vatterrodt had a kill and a block solo.
St. Louis rattled off three straight points to take a 25-22 lead. The Golden Gophers cut the lead to 26-25 on a Nelson kill, before the Billikens rattled off three straight points to set up game point at 29-25. Minnesota fought off the first game point to cut it to 29-26. Michele Wilber (Anoka, Minn.) came in to serve for Minnesota and the Golden Gophers fought off three more game points to tie it at 29. Jones helped lead that charge combining on a block with Roehrig, and then delivering back-to-back kills to tie it.
St. Louis pushed it to 30-29, but Minnesota fought off another game point to tie it 30. After the Billikens scored to make it 31-30, Jones delivered a kill to fight off a sixth game point to tie it at 31. St. Louis moved ahead 32-31, but Cumpston delivered a kill to fight off the seventh game point to tie it at 32. The Billikens finally took game one by scoring the next two points to win 34-32.
The Golden Gophers were without the service of seniors Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) and Malama Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) who will miss the St. Louis Tournament due to an NCAA rule violation. Peniata will miss six matches, which spans this week’s tournament and next week’s Nebraska Tournament. Bowman will miss three games, which will keep her out of the St. Louis Tournament.
Minnesota will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 2 when it plays two matches in the St. Louis Tournament. The Golden Gophers will face LSU at and play the final match of the tournament against Texas A&M at