It is the beginning of the Big Ten volleyball season, and gophersports.com will be running a live blog of Minnesota's matchup against No. 18 Wisconsin on Saturday, Sept. 27. The Golden Gophers will look to move to 2-0 in Big Ten play tonight. So tune into gophersports.com for the webcast, and follow the blog during the match. Also, feel free to send a note with a question or comment on the blog, send them to email@example.com.
7:10 p.m. - On the floor to start the match for MInnesota against Wisconsin is Hailey Cowles, Brook Dieter, Rachel Hartmann, Pam Luiz, Kelly Schmidt and Christine Tan. Minnesota is 1-0 going into tonight after defeating Northwestern in three sets last night. Wisconsin enters tonight's action 0-1 in the Big Ten after a surprising three-set loss to open conference play at Iowa last night. In other Big Ten action, Penn State defeated Illinois in three sets earlier today. Some interesting connections heading into tonights' match. Wisconsin's assistant coach Brian Heffernan was the associate head coach on Minnesota's staff when the Golden Gophers made their first run to the Final Four in 2003. Also, Kelly Schmidt's uncle played football for Wisconsin.
7:23 p.m. - The teams exchanged the lead five times in the early going of the first set. Luiz continued her strong play from last night with four kills early in the first set. With the scored tie at 15, Gibbemeyer and Schmidt delivered back-to-back kills to put Minnesota up 17-15 to force a Wisconsin timeout.
7:35 p.m. - Wisconsin rallied back to tie the score at 20 in first set. After Dieter delivered a kill to put the Golden Gophers ahead 23-22, the Badgers scored the final three points of the set. Wisconsin hit .238 to .205 for Minnesota in the first set, and had 17 kills to 15 for the Golden Gophers. Dieter and Luiz each had four kills. After winning the first set, the Badgers have won seven sets in a row against Minnesota dating back to 2007.
7:48 p.m. - Minnesota came out strong with seven of the first eight points in the second set. Schmidt sparked the Golden Gophers with a pair of kills in their first three points. Wisconsin called timeout with the score at 7-1. The Badgers called their second timeout at 15-7. With the score at 11-7, the Golden Gophers scored four straight points and moved ahead by eight points when Schmidt and Harmann combined on a block.
7:55 p.m. - The score was at 17-9, when Minnesota ripped off seven straight points to make it set point at 24-9 on a Cowles service ace. Dieter put down a kill to give the Golden Gophers a 25-10 second set victory.The Golden Gophers limited Wisconsin to a -.094 hitting percentage and hit .290. Minnesota also had 12 kills to just five for the Badgers. It was the second time in the last three sets Wisconsin lost 25-10. That happened last night in the third set of the Badgers loss to Iowa. Dieter had four kills in the second set for Minnesota.
8:10 p.m. - In other conference action tonight, Michigan State defeated No. 21 Michigan in four sets, Purdue and Indiana are tied at 2-2 and Northwestern and Iowa are tied at one set apiece.
8:20 p.m. - Minnesota fell behind 9-6 in the third set. Jessica Granquist saw her first action of the match when she came in for Brook Dieter in the backrow at that point. At 11-8, the Golden Gophers claimed a long rally which featured several great saves by both teams before Schmidt delivered a kill. Minnesota rode that momentum to a 13-12 lead after service ace on a short serve by Tan. Wisconsin took the lead back at 14-13, but Minnesota scored four straight points and forced a Wisconsin timeout at 17-14 after Dieter and Gibbemeyer combined on a block.
8:35 p.m. - Minnesota trailed 24-22 in the third set, but Gibbemeyer and Dieter delivered consecutive kills to tie the set at 24. Dieter followed with a kill off a set by Gibbemeyer to make it set point for the Golden Gophers. Dieter and Gibbemeyer combined on a block to give Minnesota the third set 26-24 to go up 2-1 in the match, as the Golden Gophers responded well to losing only their