|| Minnesota vs. North Dakota State
The Last Meeting
|North Dakota State||0
December 2, 2011
Gophers Advance to NCAA Second Round
The No. 19 Minnesota Gopher volleyball team swept North Dakota State 3-0 to advance to the NCAA Secound Round at the Sports Pavilion (25-17, 25-21, 26-24). The Gophers will take on No. 11 Washington next
GOPHERS SET TO FACE BISON IN MONDAY MATCH UP
The University of Minnesota volleyball program hosts familiar foe North Dakota State, Monday night, at the Sports Pavilion. The match is set for a 7 p.m. start.
FOLLOW THE GOPHERS
The NDSU match will feature free audio, live stats and in-game chat on gophersports.com.
ON THE DOCKET
Minnesota travels to Tulsa Okla., to compete in the Golden Hurricane Classic. Minnesota will compete against No. 10 Dayton (10 a.m.) and No. 22 Kansas State (4:30 p.m.) on Friday, Sept. 14 and host Tulsa (2 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 15. After opening the Big Ten Conference season at Illinois and Northwestern (Sept 21 & 23), Minnesota hosts Ohio State on Sept. 28 and Penn State Sept 29 at the Pav.
HARMS NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The Big Ten Conference announced that Katherine Harms (Albertville, Minn.) has been named the league's Player of the Week following her performance against Texas. It's the first career honor for the senior and the second-straight award for a Gopher volleyball player as Tori Dixon was named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 3. Harms, a 6-foot, two-inch right side hitter, established 36 kills and hit .333 in the series against No. 4 Texas last week. On Thursday, she set a season-best 24 kills in 47 attempts to pace the Golden Gophers to an upset win over the Longhorns. Minnesota defeated Texas for the first time on their home court since 2010 and broke a 33-straight home match record, the longest streak in the nation. Harms recorded a double double when she had 24 kills (24-9-47, .319) and 13 digs. The 24 kills on Thursday was her career-second best after she had 29 kills against Washington (five sets) in the 2011 NCAA Second Round. She also had two assists and three block assists. On Friday, Harms, along with Dixon, led the team with 12 kills as she hit .357 against Texas.
NORTH DAKOTA STATE AT THE SPORTS PAVILION
North Dakota State is no stranger to Minnesota or the Sports Pavilion. Prior to tonight's contest, NDSU has visited the Sports Pavilion three times in 2011, 2010 and 2008 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Minnesota earned 3-0 wins over the Bison in all three matches. Prior to the tournament appearances the Gophers and Bison met up in the Diet Coke Classic in 2005 as Minnesota also won, 3-0. The Gophers have lost once to the Bison, dating back to 1984 and are 11-1 all-time against NDSU.
ABOUT THE BISON
NDSU enters the match with a 3-6 record and played at the Wisconsin InnTowner Invitational in Madison, Wis., this past weekend. Defeating Milwaukee (3-2) and Drake (3-1), the Bison fell to the Badgers, 3-0. For the fourth straight year, North Dakota State was named the preseason Summit League favorite in a vote of the league's head coaches. This season, the Bison's Carissa Whalen and Brynn Joki have earned all-tournament team honors during the first two weeks of play. Whalen was all-tourney at Northern Illinois where she hit a team-best .388 with 11 blocks in losses to Northern Illinois, New Mexico State and Wichita State. Joki was all-tournament at Northern Colorado where she averaged 3.80 kills and 3.10 digs per set in a win over Air Force and losses to Oklahoma and Northern Colorado.
Minnesota traveled to Austin, Texas on Thursday-Friday and came out with a 1-1 record against the No. 4 Longhorns. On Thursday, Minnesota upset Texas in four sets, 25-22, 25-13, 27-29, 29-27. With the win, the Golden Gophers handed the Longhorns their first loss on their home court in 33-straight matches, dating back to Sept. 4, 2010 and just its third home loss since 2007. The loss to the Gophers ended the nation's longest home win streak. As a team, Minnesota outhit the Longhorns, .327 to .170 and were narrowly outblocked, 11.5 to 12.0.
On Friday, it was Texas who won in four sets, 25-20, 20-25, 25-22 and 25-21. Texas outhit the Gophers, .216 to Minnesota's .149. Although Minnesota had more kills (50-49), the Longhorns outblocked the Gophers 15.50-7.0.
Minnesota has hit well as a team already in this early season. In seven matches this season, the Golden Gophers have hit over .500 in two matches (LIU Brooklyn, Miami), two over .400 (Appalachian State and Albany). The Gophers currently lead the Big Ten Conference with a .366 hitting percentage. Katherine Harms held a career-best .680 when she had 18 kills on 25 attempts with just one error. In the same match, Ashley Wittman hit a career-best .824, also against LIU Brooklyn. In her opening match this season, Tori Dixon had 14 kills in 16 attempts for a career-best .875 against James Madison.
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