MinneThe 10th-ranked Golden Gophers continued their unbeaten start to the 2000 season with a 15-7, 15-7, 15-13 victory over Coastal Carolina in the first match of the Georgia Tech Classic in Atlanta. Minnesota improved its record to 5-0 and has yet to drop a game this season.
Erin Lorenzen was the only player on Minnesota's 15-player travel squad not to see the floor against the Lady Chanticleers. Yvonne VanOort, Shelmadine Cacho and Lisa Aschenbrenner led Minnesota with seven kills apiece. Cacho did not make an error in nine attempts and hit .778 for the match. Bethany Brafford, Lisa Axel and Cassie Busse each had six kills, as the Gophers hit .422 for the match.
Minnesota started two first-year players in the opening game, with Busse and Brafford replacing Stephanie Hagen and Nicole Branagh in the Golden Gopher lineup. The Gophers broke a 1-1 tie with seven consecutive points on the serve of Axel to take an 8-1 lead. Coastal Carolina ran the next five points, but Minnesota scored seven of the final eight points to close out the game. Minnesota hit .600 in the opening game, led by VanOort's five kills in seven attempts.
The Gophers continued with different combinations in the second game, but were never threatened by the Lady Chanticleers. Minnesota scored the first five points of the game and never trailed in the second game. The Gophers had a 15-8 advantage in kills, led by Cacho's four kills in five attempts. Cacho also had two blocks in the middle stanza, while Lindsey Berg pounded a pair of aces.
The third game was a game of runs. Coastal Carolina scored five of the first six points of the game, before Minnesota rallied to tie the score 5-5. The Lady Chanticleers responded with five points to take a 10-5 lead, but the Gophers scored the next five points to tie the score at 10-10. Coastal Carolina regained control with three points to take a 13-10 lead, but Minnesota scored the final five points of the game to end the match. Berg, Branagh and Hagen did not play in the third game.
The Gophers continue play in the Georgia Tech Classic with a match Friday night against Georgia Tech at 6 p.m. Minnesota closes play in the tournament against No. 11 Pacific on Saturday at 11 a.m.