MiCassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) tied a career- high with 24 kills, including 15 in the final two games as the 22nd-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (5-5) rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Colorado State (7-4) in five games by scores of 30-26, 23-30, 20-30, 30-24, 15- 9 on Friday, Sept. 19 at the Sports Pavilion.
With the win the Golden Gophers move to 1-0 in the Diet Coke Classic, while Colorado State falls to 0-1. In the earlier match UW-Milwaukee won in three games over Charlotte to move to 1-0 in the tournament, while the 49ers fell to 0-1.
The win also gives Minnesota its fifth victory in its last six matches.
In the fifth game Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) registered seven kills in eight attempts to help lead the Golden Gophers to a 15-9 victory. Minnesota jumped out to a 3-1 lead to start the game, but Colorado State answered scoring six of the next eight points to go up 7-5. Minnesota responded with a kill by Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) and back-to-back kills from Busse to take an 8-7 lead, but Colorado State scored the next point to tie it at 8. After a service error and attack error by the Rams put the Golden Gophers up 10-8, Busse recorded a kill to make it 11-8. Colorado State scored the next point to trim the lead to 11-9, but Minnesota reeled off the next four points, three of which came on Busse kills, to claim the fifth game 15-9.
In game one Minnesota fell behind by an early 13-10 deficit. The Golden Gophers answered with a 6-0 run to go up 16-13. Minnesota extended the lead to 24-20 and did not let Colorado State get any closer then two points as it claimed game one 30-26. The Golden Gophers outhit the Rams .077 to -.081 in the game, and were led by Bratford's five kills.
Colorado State jumped out to a 10-7 lead in the second game. The Rams widened the gap by scoring seven of the next 10 points to go up 17- 10. From that point they led by five points or more the remainder of the game. Busse paced Minnesota with six kills in the game. Colorado State outhit the Golden Gophers .314 to .222 in the game.
The Rams continue to roll dominating game three, as they outhit Minnesota .433 to -.056. The Golden Gophers jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead, but Colorado State scored 14 of the next 19 points to take a 16- 11 lead. The Rams continued to extend the lead out to 26-17 before moving on to claim game three 30-20 to go up 2-1 in the match.
Minnesota jumped out to an early lead in game four and managed to hold it throughout the game, despite constant pressure from Colorado State. The Rams managed to cut the Golden Gopher lead to one point on nine different occasions in the game, but each time Minnesota held on to the lead. With the score at 22-21, the Golden Gophers finally rattled off consecutive points to open up some breathing room at 24- 21. Minnesota led 25-23 when Busse sandwiched kills around a Colorado State point to put the Golden Gophers up 27-24. After a Colorado State attack error, Erin Martin recorded a kill to move it to 29-24 before Busse unleashed a service ace to the end the game at 30-24.
The Golden Gophers were led by Busse's 24 kills, two service aces and eight digs. Bratford had 15 kills, eight digs and three blocks, while Martin recorded 11 kills and had five digs. Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara', Minn.) had 19 digs, while Marci Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) had 11 on the night. Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) had 49 assists, eight digs and a team-high four blocks.
Minnesota is now 4-0 when three or more players register double- figure kills in a match.
"Our team did not execute very well tonight," said Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert. "However, I give the players on our team a lot of credit for bracing themselves and pulling through with a tough win tonight against a good Colorado State team.."
Colorado State outhit Minnesota .203 to .160 on the night and outblocked the Golden Gophers 16.5 to 9.0. Minnesota outdug the Rams 61 to 49 and had six service aces on the night.
Colorado State was led by Becky Sarauer who had 16 kills and three service aces. Tess Rogers also had 13 kills, while Bri Frech had 10 blocks and eight kills for the Rams.
In the first match UW-Milwaukee defeated Charlotte in three games by scores of 30-23, 30-24, 30-12.
The Panthers were led by Sarah Potts who had 21 kills and 10 digs, while Karen Fruit had 10 kills and 18 digs. Charlotte was led by Abbey Szanfucht who had 13 kills and 11 digs.
UW-Milwaukee outhit Charlotte .295 to .049 and had 51 kills to the 49ers 32.
Minnesota plays Charlotte on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 12:30 p.m. and UW- Milwaukee on Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. In the first match of the day Colorado State will play UW-Milwaukee at 10 a.m. The first match of the night session will pit the Rams against Charlotte at 5 p.m.