The Minnesota volleyball team (9-3, 2-0) swept Indiana (10-4, 1-1) in three games by scores of 32-30, 30-16, 30-21 at the Sports Pavilion on Sunday, Sept. 23. It marked the seventh time since Mike Hebert arrived at Minnesota that the Golden Gopher started out 2-0 in Big Ten play.
“In the first game, we did not come out ready to play, and Indiana is a much-improved team from last year,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “I thought we did a good job of winning the big points in that first game. We came out and built off the momentum of winning the first game today, and played well in the final two games. I thought Jessy (Jones) did a good job of giving us an emotional boost today. She did an unbelievable job of blocking and hitting today for us.”
Senior middle blocker Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) led a balanced attack, as she hit .692 (9-0-13), had nine kills and a season-high nine blocks. Freshman outside hitter Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) had nine kills and 10 digs on the afternoon. Junior outside hitter Kyla Roehrig (Bloomington, Minn.) also had eight kills and five blocks (three solo blocks).
Freshman middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) had eight kills and a service ace, while Rachelle Hagerty (Defiance, Ohio) finished with six kills, hit .500 (6-1-10), and had two blocks.
Junior setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had 37 assists, three kills and three blocks, while Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) had 14 digs. Kelly Roysland (Fosston, Minn.) had 10 digs, a kill and two assists, while Hailey Cowles (Eden Prairie, Minn.) finished with seven digs, two kills and a service ace.
Minnesota outhit Indiana .305 to 134, and 47 kills to 44 for the Hoosiers. The Golden Gophers outblocked Indiana 15.0-to-5.0, and had 51 digs to 35 for the Hoosiers.
Indiana jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the first game, but the Golden Gophers responded with a 9-0 run to take a 12-7 lead to force a Hoosier timeout. Indiana scored seven of the next 11 points to cut Minnesota’s lead to 16-14. The Golden Gophers responded with six of the next eight points to take a 22-16 lead. Indiana rattled off the next four points to cut it to 22-20.
The Hoosiers continued to surge with four of the next six points to the game at 24. Roehrig followed with a kill to give Minnesota back the lead at 25-24, but Indiana responded with consecutive points to take a 26-25 lead. Jones tied the game with a kill, but Indiana took the lead back at 27-26. The Golden Gophers got another kill from Jones to tie it at 27.
Indiana moved back ahead at 28-27, but Rachelle Hagerty (Defiance, Ohio) followed with a kill to tie it at 29. Hartmann delivered a kill to give Minnesota game point, but the Hoosiers answered with consecutive points to give themselves game point at 30-29. Dieter followed with a kill off that landed just wide off the Indiana block to tie it at 30. Gibbemeyer followed with back-to-back kills, including a push-kill to the right back-corner, to give the Golden Gophers the first game.
Minnesota won the game, despite being outhit .241 to .196, and have 17 kills to 21 for Indiana. The Golden Gophers outblocked the Hoosiers 4.0-to-2.0 in the game. Roehrig and Dieter each had four kills in the first game.
In the second game to two teams were tied at seven, before the Golden Gophers went on a 10-0 run to take a 17-7 lead. Indiana cut it to 18-11, but Minnesota responded with a 7-0 run to move its lead to 25-11. Gibbemeyer delivered a kill to make it 28-13 to give the Golden Gophers their biggest lead of the game. Minnesota went on to win game two 30-16.
The Golden Gophers held the Hoosiers to a -.100 hitting percentage, and hit .318 in the second game. Minnesota had 11 kills to eight for Indiana in the game. The Golden Gophers also outblocked the Hoosiers 6.0-to-1.0 in the game. Jones had three kills and four blocks in the game for Minnesota.
In game three Minnesota jumped out to a 14-6 lead, before Indiana scored six of the next eight points to cut it to 16-12. The Golden Gophers pushed the lead out to seven points at 20-13. With the score at 23-17, Hagerty and Kelly Schmidt (Champaign, Ill.) had back-to-back kills to move Minnesota ahead 25-17. The Golden Gophers move ahead 28-21, and ran off the final two points when Jones and Katie Vatterrodt (Bloomington, Ill.) combined on a pair of blocks.
Indiana was led by Kelsey Hall who has 12 kills and 10 digs. Erica Short also finished with 10 kills and five digs. Hoosier setter Mara Hilgenberg also had 35 assists, three kills and four digs.
Minnesota will be back in action on Wednesday, Sept. 26 when it travels to Iowa to face the Hawkeyes at 7 p.m. The Golden Gophers will also face No. 10 Michigan at the Sports Pavilion on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.