The 22nd-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (6-5) defeated Charlotte (5- 8) in three games by scores of 30-18, 30-26, 30-25 on Saturday, Sept. 20 in its second match of the Diet Coke Classic. Minnesota has now won six of its last seven matches, and moves over .500 for the first time this season.
With the win the Golden Gophers moved to 2-0 in the tournament, while Charlotte dropped to 0-2. Earlier in the day, Colorado State moved to 1-1 in the Diet Coke Classic with a four-game victory over UW- Milwaukee. The loss dropped the Panthers to 1-1 in the tournament.
Minnesota led by a slim 9-8 margin in the early part of game one, but the Golden Gophers went on an 8-0 run to widen the gap to 17-8. From that point, Minnesota led by no less then seven points the rest of the way as it claimed game one 30-18. Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) hit .800 (8-1-9) with eight kills in the first game to continue where she left off in Friday night. The Golden Gophers outhit Charlotte .342 to .000 in the game.
For a second straight game, the Golden Gophers limited the 49ers to a .000 hitting percentage. Minnesota fell behind 3-1 in the early going of game two, but ripped off a 7-0 run to take an 8-3 lead and led the rest of the way as it claimed game two 30-26. Jessica Byrnes (Minnetonka, Minn.) paced Minnesota with seven kills, as the Golden Gophers hit .282 in the second game.
Minnesota jumped out to a slim 5-4 lead in game three, and widened the gap by scoring 12 of the next 18 points to go up 17-10. Charlotte cut the lead to 19-17, but the Golden Gophers tallied five of the next seven points to go up 24-19. Minnesota claimed the match by winning game three 30-25. Busse led the way with six kills, as Minnesota outhit Charlotte .270 to .121 in the third game.
Busse hit a career-high .680 (19-2-25) with nine digs, three service aces and three blocks. Byrnes had a season-high 12 kills. Marci Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) tied a career-high with 16 digs in the match. Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) came in and played setter in the third game and had 14 assist and three kills on the match.
Minnesota outhit Charlotte .298 to .039 in the match. The Golden Gophers also tallied 54 kills to 30 for the 49ers.
Charlotte was led by Abbey Szanfucht who had 10 kills and four digs in the match.
In the first match Colorado State (8-4) defeated UW-Milwaukee (10-2) in four games by scores of 30-21, 29-31, 30-25, 30-20.
The Rams were led by Katie Jo Shirley who had 20 kills, 21 digs and six blocks. Becky Sarauer had 22 kills, while setter Melissa Courtney had 64 assists and 16 digs.
UW-Milwaukee was led by Sarah Potts who had 19 kills and 14 digs in the match. Karen Fruit also had 10 kills and 18 digs in the match.
Colorado State outhit UW-Milwaukee .281 to .187 in the match, and had 76 kills to the Panthers 56.
Minnesota plays UW-Milwaukee on Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. In the first match of the day Colorado State. The first match of the night session will pit the Rams against Charlotte at 5