HThe 17th-ranked Minnesota volleyball team opened the 2001 Big Ten season with a three-game sweep at Iowa, 30-24, 30-28, 30-22. The Gophers (7-2, 1-0 Big Ten) have won 12 straight matches against the Hawkeyes (2-4, 0-1 Big Ten), and Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert earned his 700th win as a collegiate head coach. Hebert is the sixth active NCAA Division I coach with 700 wins.
Cassie Busse led Minnesota with 12 kills and hit .500 for the match, while Bethany Brafford added 11 kills at a .611 hitting percentage. Lindsey Berg directed the Minnesota offense to a .340 hitting percentage and served a season-high five aces. Minnesota had a 12-2 advantage in service aces, and committed just five service errors in the match. Sara Meyermann led Iowa with 25 kills, a record by a Minnesota opponent in a three-game match.
Iowa held its only lead of the first game at 2-1. Minnesota scored the next four points, three on Lindsey Berg's serve, and led for the remainder of the first game. Iowa pulled to within 18-15, but kills by Busse and Brafford maintained the Minnesota lead. The Gophers compiled a .417 hitting percentage in the first game, led by seven kills by Busse. Meyermann had 13 kills in 25 attempts in the opening game.
The Hawkeyes for the majority of the second game, leading by as much as seven points on two occasions, the second time at 14-7. Minnesota went on a 7-2 run to close the deficit to 16-14, and took its first lead of the game at 26-25 on a kill by Amanda Cipperly. The Gophers scored the next two points to increase the advantage to 28-25, but three straight Hawkeye points leveled the game at 28-28. Busse followed with a kill, and a block by Brafford and Kathy Tilson of Meyermann ended the second game, 30-28. Brafford had five kills in eight attempts in the second game, as the Gophers hit .382 as a team. Meyermann had 11 of Iowa's 23 kills in the second game.
Minnesota rebounded from an early deficit in the third game with a 15-2 run and took a 19-8 lead. The Gophers led by at least seven points for the remainder of the match. Minnesota limited Meyermann to one kill and three errors in six attempts in the final game. The Hawkeyes committed 10 errors in the third game and compiled a .097 hitting percentage.
Minnesota resumes its Big Ten schedule Saturday with a match at Purdue, beginning at 7 p.m. in West Lafayette, Ind.
Big Ten Standings Minnesota 1-0 7-2 Ohio State 0-0 8-0 Michigan State 0-0 7-0 Illinois 0-0 6-1 Penn State 0-0 6-1 Wisconsin 0-0 6-2 Michigan 0-0 3-3 Northwestern 0-0 3-3 Indiana 0-0 3-4 Purdue 0-0 0-6 Iowa 0-1 2-4 Wednesday's Result Minnesota d. Iowa, 3-0 (30-24, 30-28, 30-22) Friday's Matches Indiana at Penn State, 6 Illinois at Ohio State, 6 Iowa at Purdue, 7 Michigan at Northwestern, 7 Michigan State at Wisconsin, 7 Saturday's Matches Minnesota at Purdue, 7 Illinois at Penn State, 6 Indiana at Ohio State, 6 Michigan State at Northwestern, 7 Michigan at Wisconsin, 7