Golden Gophers Defeat Illinois in Three Games The University of Minnesota volleyball team (8-4, 2-0) won its sixth straight match as it defeated Illinois (9-3, 0-2) in three games by scores of 30-27, 30-18, 32-30 Huff Hall in Champaign, Ill.
The University of Minnesota volleyball team (8-4, 2-0) won its sixth straight match as it defeated Illinois (9-3, 0-2) in three games by scores of 30-27, 30-18, 32-30 Huff Hall in Champaign, Ill. With win Minnesota started off 2-0 in conference play for the second time under Head Coach Mike Hebert.
“I thought we did a better job then Illinois tonight on the serve and pass game and that usually ends playing a huge part in who wins in the match,” said Hebert. “We also won outblocked them 11.0-to-4.0, and did a good job of maintaining our composure in the third game. Any time you can go 2-0 on the road in the Big Ten you will take it. Every road trip is tough in this conference, and going 2-0 this week is a good springboard to start off Big Ten play with.”
Hebert also became the winningest coach in Minnesota history on Friday against Northwestern as he won his 264th match to pass Stephanie Schleuder’s (1982-94) mark of 263.
“I think the win-mark is a tribute to the players I have coached here at Minnesota,” said Hebert. “We have been remarkably consistent and they have obviously played a big part in that.”
Minnesota was led offensively by Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) who hit ..417 (12-2-24) with 12 kills. Nelson became the 18th player in school history to record 1,000 kills in her career when she reached the mark in the middle of the first game.
Kyle Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) had 10 kills and two blocks on the night. Junior Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) had nine kills and eight blocks on the night. Senior Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) also had seven blocks, six digs, two service aces and two blocks.
Senior Malama Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) had 23 digs on the night for Minnesota. Last night against Northwestern, Peniata became the 13th player in school history to record 1,000 career digs. She entered the week needing 18, and had had 53 in the two matches. Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) also had 36 assists on the night.
Minnesota outhit Illinois .231 to .125 in the match, despite the fact that the Golden Gophers had 43 kills to 45 for Illinois. Minnesota also outblocked Illinois 11.0-to-4.0.
Minnesota jumped out to an 8-7 lead in game one, but Illinois ran off a 5-0 run to move ahead 12-8. The Golden Gophers immediately responded with four straight points to tie it at 12. Illinois came back with three of the next four points to move ahead 15-13. With the scored at 16-14, Nelson finished a long rally to deliver here 1,000th career kill to cut the lead to 16-15. Nelson and Hartmann combined on a block to tie it at 16.
The two teams exchanged the next eight points to move to a tie at 20. Illinois scored the next point to move ahead 21-20, but Nelson followed with a kill and Bowman delivered a service ace to give the Golden Gophers the lead back at 22-21. Minnesota moved its lead to 23-21, before Illinois scored the next point to cut the lead to 23-22.
Nelson followed with back-to-back kills to put Minnesota ahead 25-22. The two teams exchanged the next points to make it 26-23. Illinois quickly scored three straight points to tie the game at 26. Roehrig answered with a kill to put Minnesota up 27-26. After Illinois was in the net on the next point, Roehrig followed with a kill to give the Golden Gophers game point 29-26. Kayani Turner delivered a kill by Illinois to help it fight off the first game point to make it 29-27. Minnesota scored the next point on a net violation by Illinois to take game one 30-27.
Minnesota outhit Illinois .268 to .153 in the first game, despite have 15 kills to 16 for Illinois. The Golden Gophers outblocked Illinois 5.0-to-1.0 in the firs game. Minnesota was led by Nelson who had six kills, while Peniata had 10 digs.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to a 7-6 lead in game two, and expanded it to 13-8 with six of the next nine points. Illinois scored four of the next six points to cut the lead to 15-12. However, Minnesota ran off five straight points to move ahead 20-12. Vattterrodt got the run started with a kill, and Cumpston followed with a service ace. Minnesota pushed the lead to 18-12, and closed off the 5-0 run with back-to-back kills from Roehrig and Nelson to make it 20-12.
Illinois cut the lead to 22-16 with four of the next six points. Minnesota responded with back-to-back points, including a service ace by Christine Tan (Palm Harbor, Fla.) that made it 24-16. Illinois scored back-to-back points, but Minnesota ripped off six straight points to claim the second game. The run started with a couple errors from Illinois, followed by a Bowman solo block to make it 27-18. Minnesota moved ahead 28-18, and Bowman delivered a kill to make it game point. The Golden Gophers scored the next point to claim the second game 30-18.
Minnesota limited Illinois to a -.031 hitting percentage, while the Golden Gophers hit .167. Minnesota had four service aces in the game, and outblocked Illinois 3.0-to-0.0 for the game.
Illinois jumped out to an early 10-6 lead in game three, before Minnesota scored four straight points to tie it at 10. The two teams exchanged the next four points to tie it 12. Illinois followed with four of the next five points to take a 16-13 lead.
Minnesota responded with five of the next seven points to tie it at 18. Illinois moved back ahead 19-18, but the Golden Gophers answered with four of the next five points to move ahead 22-20.
Illinois cut the lead to 23-22, but Vatterrodt delivered a kill to make it 24-22. The two teams exchanged points to make it 25-23. Vatterrodt followed with a kill to make it 26-23. After Illinois cut it to 26-24, Roehrig delivered a kill to put Minnesota ahead 27-24. Illinois scored four of the next five points to tie the game up at 28.
Bowman and Jones combined on a block to make it match point at 29-28. Illinois tied it at 29, but Roehrig delivered a kill to make it match point at 30-29. Illinois fought it off to tie the match at 30. Cumpston followed with back-to-back kills to give Minnesota the match.
Illinois was led by Turner who had 17 kills, while Vicki Brown has 11 kills for the match. Lizzie Bazzetta had 41 assists and seven digs.
Minnesota will return home to face No. 19 Michigan on Friday, Sept. 30 at in the Sports Pavilion. The Golden Gophers will also face MichiganState on Sunday, Oct. 1 at