Minnesota Falls to Louisville in Four Games at the Ameritas Players Challenge The University of Minnesota volleyball team (2-3) lost in four games to Louisville (5-3) by scores of 22-30, 30-26, 30-26, 30-28 in the Ameritas Players Challenge at the Nebraska Coliseum on Saturday, Sept. 9.
The University of Minnesota volleyball team (2-3) lost in four games to Louisville (5-3) by scores of 22-30, 30-26, 30-26, 30-28 in the Ameritas Players Challenge at the Nebraska Coliseum on Saturday, Sept. 9. With the loss, the Golden Gophers dropped to 1-1 in the tournament.
Junior middle blocker Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) had a career-high with 21 kills and also had seven blocks for Minnesota. Senior opposite hitter Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) had a second straight double-double with 11 kills and 15 digs. Bowman also had two service aces and five blocks for the Golden Gophers.
Freshman Christine Tan (Palm Harbor, Fla.) tallied a career-high with 17 digs, and also had a career-high two service aces. Sophomore setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had 55 assists, 10 digs and two service aces, while Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) and Meghan Cumpston (Red Bluff, Calif.) finished with 12 and 11 kills respectively.
As a team, the Golden Gophers outhit Louisville .248 to .228. Louisville had a slim advantage in kills with 65 to Minnesota’s 63. The Golden Gophers outblocked the Cardinals 11.0-to-8.0. Minnesota has outblocked its opponents in all five of this year’s matches. The Golden Gophers also had six service aces to five for Louisville, and outdug the Cardinals 62-to-57.
After splitting the first two games, Minnesota jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead in game three. Louisville answered quickly with 12 of the next 15 points to move ahead 14-9. The Golden Gophers trimmed the lead to 16-15 when they scored six of the next eight points. Louisville responded with four of the next five points to push the lead out to 20-16.
Minnesota scored two of the next three points and cut it to 21-18 after Nelson and Bowman combined on a block. Louisville ran off three straight points to push it’s lead to 24-18. Cumpston responded with back-to-back kills to cut it to 24-20. The Cardinals scored to make it 25-20, but Cumpston and Jones answered with back-to-back kills to cut it to 25-22. Louisville scored the next points, but Cumpston answered to make it 26-23.
The Golden Gophers scored the next two points to cut it to 26-25. However, Louisville halted their momentum with consecutive points to move ahead 28-25. Jones delivered a kill to make it 28-26, but the Cardinals scored the final two points to claim game three 30-26 to move ahead two games to one.
Louisville outhit Minnesota .244 to .143 in the third game, despite the Golden Gophers narrow 16-to-15 advantage in kills. Jones and Cumpston finished with five and four kills respectively in the game.
In the fourth game, Minnesota jumped out to a 12-6 lead. However, Louisville answered with seven of the next nine points to cut it to 14-13. Cumpston and Jones responded with back-to-back kills top move the Golden Gophers lead to 16-13. Louisville came back with four of the next six points to trim the lead back to one at 18-17.
Nelson halted the Cardinals momentum with a kill to make it 19-17, and Minnesota followed with consecutive points to move ahead 21-17. Louisville came right back with four of the next five points to cut the lead back to one at 22-21. Cumpston delivered a kill to put Minnesota ahead 23-21. Louisville scored three straight points to final wrestle away the lead at 24-23. Jones responded with a kill to tie it at 24.
The Cardinals broke the tie and pushed their lead to 26-24 with consecutive points, forcing a Golden Gopher timeout. Out of the timeout, Jones delivered a kill and Bowman and Nelson combined on a block to tie it at 26. Nelson came up with a kill to give Minnesota the lead at 27-26. Louisville came right back with consecutive points to take the lead back at 28-27. The Golden Gophers tied it at 28, but the Cardinals moved it game point at 29-28.
On the next point Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) tried to tie the game on an attack, but it was dug by Louisville’s Justin Landi and landed over for the Cardinals point to give them the match.
Minnesota jumped out to an early 14-8 lead in game one. The two teams were tied at six, before the Golden Gophers scored eight of the next nine points to move ahead 14-7. Louisville came back with five of the next six points to cut the Minnesota lead to 15-12. The Golden Gophers answered with four of the next five points to move their lead to 19-14. Louisville battled back with four of the next six points to cut it to 21-18. Minnesota scored consecutive points punctuated by a Jones kill to move ahead 23-18. However, the Cardinals scored two of the next three points to make it 24-20.
Jones followed with a kill and combined on a block to push it to 26-20. Vatterrodt and Bowman combined on a block to move ahead 27-20. The Golden Gophers pushed it to game point at 29-22, and moved on to win game one on a Louisville attack error to move ahead 1-0 in the match.
Minnesota outhit Louisville .303 to .122 in game one, despite the fact that both teams had 13 kills. The Golden Gophers had just three errors to eight for the Cardinals, and outblocked Louisville 3.0-to-1.0. Jones led the way hitting .750 (6-0-8) in the game with six kills and three blocks.
In game two Minnesota jumped out to an early 4-3, before Louisville ripped off a 9-1 run to claim a 12-5 lead. Minnesota cut the led to 14-9, but the Cardinals pushed it back to six points at 16-10. The Golden Gophers responded with six of the next seven points to cut the Louisville lead to 17-16. The Cardinals scored the next point to make it 18-16, but Minnesota answered three of the next four points punctuated by a Bowman kill to tie the game at 19.
Louisville responded with three of the next four points to push its lead out to 22-20. Minnesota scored two of the next three points, and cut it to 23-22. The Cardinals grabbed the momentum by scoring five straight points to move ahead 28-22. Minnesota answered with four of the next five points to cut the Louisville lead to 29-26. However, the Cardinals scored the next points to claim game two 30-26 to tie the match at one game apiece.
Minnesota has now played four four-game matches this year. In a bizarre twist the Golden Gophers are 2-0 when dropping the first game, and 0-2 when winning the first game in those matches.
Louisville was led by Ana Yartseva-Stewart who had 19 kills, hit .533 (19-3-30), had 15 digs and three blocks. Svetlana Dukule had 14 kills and five blocks, while Tatyanna Kolesnikova had 11 kills and four digs.
Minnesota will finish up the tournament at No. 1 Nebraska on Sunday, Sept. 10 at That match will be broadcast live on CSTV at The broadcast will originate through the Nebraska Educational Television Network.