theThe 10th-ranked Minnesota volleyball team swept 11th-ranked Pacific, 15-10, 16-14, 15-9, and won the 2000 Georgia Tech Classic in Atlanta. The win improves the Golden Gophers' record to 7-0 and is the first victory over a nationally ranked opponent this season.
Lindsey Berg was named the tournament's most valuable player, leading the Gopher offense with 37 assists and three service aces, and contributing 12 digs. Nicole Branagh and Stephanie Hagen each had 14 kills, and Hagen added eight blocks. Yvonne Van Oort and Charnette Fair were added to the all-tournament team with Berg. Minnesota held Pacific (4-2) to a .111 hitting percentage, and the Tigers had 18 service errors. The Gophers held advantages in just about every category, including a 70-51 edge in digs.
The first game was a back-and-forth affair, featuring seven ties and seven lead changes. After the final tie at 10-10, VanOort served the final five points to give Minnesota a 15-10 victory. In the final run, Hagen teamed with Branagh on two blocks and Berg on one block to account for three of the five Minnesota points, and VanOort served an ace. Minnesota limited the Tigers to a .021 hitting percentage in the opening frame. Hagen led Minnesota with six kills and four blocks in the first game, while Branagh added four kills.
Minnesota led for the majority of the second game, with its biggest lead coming at 11-5. Pacific rallied to take its first lead of the game at 14-13, but Minnesota earned a sideout on a Fair kill to keep the game alive. Lisa Axel served the final three points of the game to give the Gophers a 16-14 victory. Lisa Aschenbrenner's tip tied the game at 14-14, Hagen's solo block gave the Gophers the lead, and a Pacific hitting error gave Minnesota the second game. Branagh had eight kills in the second game to lead the Gopher offense, while Hagen added five kills and two blocks.
Similar to the second game, Minnesota led for the first half of the third game, increasing the lead to 8-2, fueled by three aces by Berg. Pacific rallied to tie the game at 9-9, but VanOort served the final six points to close out the match. In the final run, Minnesota had four kills and two blocks to earn the six points. VanOort and Hagen each had three kills in the final game for Minnesota.
The Gophers return to the state of Minnesota for their next six matches. Minnesota will host Northern Iowa at Century High School in Rochester, Minn., on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
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 Georgia Tech d. Coastal Carolina, 3-0 (15-5, 15-10, 15-5) Minnesota d. Pacific, 3-0 (15-10, 16-14, 15-9) Sunday's Match (All times CDT) Pacific vs. Georgia Tech, 1 p.m.