The Minnesota volleyball team (8-3, 1-0) swept Purdue (7-5, 0-1) by scores of 30-26, 30-28, 30-25 in its Big Ten opener on Friday, Sept. 21 at the Sports Pavilion. Minnesota has now won its last nine Big Ten home openers dating back to 1999.
“I thought we played the big points very well tonight,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “Earlier this year, we struggled at times with the tough points. Tonight we did a great job of executing in crucial parts of the match. This was a quality Purdue team, and I was happy with our effort to open Big Ten play.”
Senior outside hitter Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) led the way with 19 kills, four blocks and hit .333 (19-6-39) on the night. Roehrig now has 39 kills in the Golden Gophers’ last two matches. Freshman outside hitter Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) had her fifth double-double of the season with 12 kills and 12 digs. Dieter also hit .310 (12-3-29) on the night.
Freshman middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) had 10 kills and four blocks for the match. Junior setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had 43 assists, four digs and four blocks. Sophomore Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) and senior Kelly Roysland (Fosston, Minn.) finished with 14 and 12 digs respectively. Hailey Cowles (Eden Prairie, Minn.) also had nine digs and a service ace on the night.
Minnesota outhit Purdue .204 to .144 on the night, and had 52 kills to 46 for the Boilermakers. Both teams had 10.0 blocks, while the Golden Gophers narrowly outdug Purdue 54-to-53.
In the first game, the two teams were tied at eight before Minnesota scored eight of the next 12 points to take a 16-12 lead. After a Boilermaker point, Dieter had a kill and Gibbemeyer followed with a solo block to make it 18-13. Purdue responded with three straight points to cut it to 18-16. After a kill by Gibbemeyer, the Boilermakers rattled off consecutive points to cut it to 19-18.
Roehrig delivered with back-to-back kills to put Minnesota up 21-18. The Golden Gophers went up 23-19 on a service ace by Cowles. Purdue cut the lead down to two points at 24-22. The Boilermakers followed with a service error, and Gibbemeyer and Hartmann combined on a block to make it 26-22. Gibbemeyer delivered a kill to put Minnesota up 27-22.
Purdue responded with four consecutive points to cut the Golden Gopher lead to 27-26. Hartmann put Minnesota back up by two points 28-26 when she dumped a kill over the net off a great dig from Cowles. Hartmann and Gibbemeyer combined on a block to make it game point at 29-26, and Roehrig had a solo block to give Minnesota the first game.
The Golden Gopher outhit the Boilermakers .137 to .077, and had 18 kills to 13. Both teams had five blocks in the first game. Roehrig led Minnesota with six kills and two blocks.
Purdue jumped out to an 18-15 lead in game one. Roehrig answered with back-to-back kills, and Jones followed with a kill of her own to tie it at 18. The two teams exchanged the next 12 points to move to a tie at 24. Jones followed with a kill, and Purdue committed an attack error to give the Golden Gophers a 26-24 lead.
The Boilermakers scored the next two points to tie it at 26, but Roehrig followed with a kill to give Minnesota a 27-26 lead. After Purdue tied it at 27, Dieter delivered a kill to put Minnesota up 28-27. The Golden Gophers moved it to game point after a Purdue attack error. Danita Merlau delivered a kill to help the Boilermakers fight off the first game point. Minnesota put away the game on a Gibbemeyer kill to go up 2-0 in the match.
In the second game, the Golden Gopher outhit Purdue .256 to .180 despite the fact that the Boilermakers had 19 kills and Minnesota finished with 16. The Golden Gophers outblocked Purdue 4.0-to-2.0 in the game. Jones had five kills in eight swings, and also tallied two blocks in the game.
Minnesota ran out to a 17-11 lead in game one. Purdue cut the lead down to 22-17, but the Golden Gophers came back with consecutive points on a service error and a service ace by Gibbemeyer to make it 24-17. Minnesota held the same scoring margin at 27-20. Purdue fought back with three straight points, before Gibbemeyer delivered a kill to put the Golden Gophers ahead 28-23. After a Minnesota attack error, Dieter followed with a kill to make it match point. After Purdue fought off the first match point, Roehrig delivered a kill to give Minnesota the three-game victory.
Purdue was led by Merlau, who had 15 kills and eight digs. Samantha Mader also had 14 kills and two blocks. Anne Mastandrea and Kelli Miller had 13 and 12 digs respectively.
Minnesota will face Indiana on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. Live video will be available in the Gold Zone, and it can also be heard on gophersports.com.