iThe fifth-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (2-1) defeated Texas-San Antonio in three games by scores of 30-20, 30-18, 30-24 in its first match at the Wyoming Tournament on Friday, Sept. 3 at the MPG in Laramie, Wyo. With the win, the Golden Gophers move to 1-0 in the tournament, while Texas-San Antonio drops to 0-1.
Minnesota was led by Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) who had a career-high 14 kills and four blocks. Nelson hit .550 (14-1-20) for the match. Jessica Byrnes (Minnetonka, Minn.) and Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) each had nine kills in the match. Bowman also had 12 assists,six digs and hit .533 (9-1-14) in the match.
In the first game Minnesota jumped out to an 8-3 lead. Texas-San Antonio scored six of the next 10 points to cut the lead to 12-9. The Golden Gophers answered with the next three points to go up 15-9, but the Roadrunners cut it back to 16-13 with four of the next five points. Minnesota answered with a 7-0 run to take a 23-13 lead. The Golden Gophers led by no less than nine points the rest of the way, as they moved to a 30-20 game-one victory.
Minnesota outhit Texas-San Antonio .387 to .125 in the game. Byrnes paced the Golden Gophers with four kills in the game. Bowman also had three kills and nine assists in the game.
In the second game, Minnesota jumped out to a quick 8-5 lead. The Golden Gophers widened the gap with six of the next seven points to go up 14-6. Texas-San Antonio scored the next two points to make it 14-8. Minnesota scored six of the next eight points to take a 20-10 lead. The Roadrunners answered with three straight points to cut the lead to 20-13. However, Minnesota came right back with three straight points to go up 23-13. The Golden Gophers moved ahead to 27-16, but the Roadrunners scored the next two points to cut the lead to 27-18. Minnesota scored two straight points to go up 29-18, and Nelson put down a kill to give the Golden Gophers game two 30-18.
The Golden Gophers limited the Roadrunners to a -.074 hitting percentage in the second game, while hitting .333. Nelson and Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) each had four kills in the game for Minnesota.
Texas-San Antonio jumped out to an 8-6 lead to start the third game. Minnesota responded with a 5-0 run to go up 11-8. The Roadrunners ran off the next three points to tie the game at 11. The two teams exchanged points to move the score to 12-12. The Golden Gophers scored the next four points to go up 16-12. The score moved to 21-17 with Minnesota getting all four of its points on Nelson kills during that span. Texas-San Antonio cut the score down to 25-22, but the Golden Gophers ran off four straight points paced by a kill and a block solo from Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) to make it 29-22. The Roadrunners scored the next two points to make it 29-24, but Bratford put down a kill to end the game at 30-24 to give Minnesota the match.
For a second straight game, Minnesota held Texas-San Antonio to a negative hitting percentage at -.024. The Golden Gophers had 20 kills in the game, and held the Roadrunners to nine. Nelson paced Minnesota with seven kills in the game.
Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara, Brazil) had a match-high 12 digs. Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) also had three kills, 25 assists and eight digs.
Minnesota outhit Texas-San Antonio .277 to .010. The Golden Gophers had 49 kills to the Roadrunners 30.
Texas-San Antonio was led by Megan Daniel who had 12 kills.
Minnesota take on Idaho State at 6 p.m. (CT) on Sept. 3, and finish the tournament against host Wyoming on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. (CT).