nowIn a battle of unbeatens, 10th-ranked Minnesota used a balanced attack to defeat Georgia Tech, 15-7, 15-1, 3-15, 15-8, in the Golden Gophers' second match of the Georgia Tech Classic. Minnesota is now 6-0, while Georgia Tech falls to 4-1.
Nicole Branagh led Minnesota with 15 kills, while Stephanie Hagen and Yvonne VanOort had 10 kills apiece. VanOort also led Minnesota with 19 digs and five blocks. Lindsey Berg contributed a career-high nine kills and served three aces for the Gophers.
Earlier in the day, Minnesota breezed past Coastal Carolina in three games, 15-7, 15-7, 15-13. 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.
The first game against Georgia Tech featured ties at 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 and 6-6. Trailing 6-5, Minnesota scored eight consecutive points behind the jump serve of Berg to take a 13-6 lead. In the run, Berg served an ace and Erin Lorenzen contributed two kills. Minnesota needed six game points before a Georgia Tech error ended the first game. Branagh had seven kills to lead Minnesota's offense, which had a .311-.154 advantage in hitting percentage during the opening stanza.
Minnesota dominated the second game, scoring the final 13 points of the game in a 15-1 rout. The Gophers did not commit a hitting error in the game and compiled a .611 hitting percentage. Georgia Tech committed ten hitting errors and hit -.036 in the game. VanOort had four kills to lead the Minnesota offense.
Georgia Tech ran off the first seven points of the third game. The Yellow Jackets increased the lead to 13-1 and never looked back in a 15-3 romp. It was the first game Minnesota had lost all season, breaking a 17-game streak. Georgia Tech's offense rebounded to hit .387 with three errors while holding Minnesota to a .029 hitting percentage. No Gopher had more than two kills in the third game.
Minnesota was the aggressor to begin the fourth game, sprinting out to leads of 5-1 and 7-3. Georgia Tech rallied to tie the score at 7-7, but the Golden Gophers responded with eight of the next nine points, including the last five on Axel's serve, to close out the match. Branagh had six kills and Hagen added four in the final game.
The Gophers conclude play in the Georgia Tech Classic against No. 11 Pacific (4-1) on Saturday at 11 a.m. Pacific is 1-0 in the tournament after defeating Coastal Carolina early Friday evening in three games, 15-0, 15-9, 15-3.
2000 GEORGIA TECH CLASSIC O'Keefe Gymnasium, Atlanta Friday's Results Minnesota d. Coastal Carolina, 3-0 (15-7, 15-7, 15-13) Pacific d. Coastal Carolina, 3-0 (15-0, 15-9, 15-3) Minnesota d. Georgia Tech, 3-1 (15-7, 15-1, 3-15, 15-8) Saturday's Matches (All times CDT) Coastal Carolina vs. Georgia Tech, 9 a.m. Minnesota vs. Pacific, 11 a.m. Sunday's Match Pacific vs. Georgia Tech, 1 p.m.