sweptSenior setter Lindsey Berg collected the 5,000th assist of her career, but that feat was the lone Golden Gopher highlight as No. 17 Minnesota was swept 3-0 (30-17, 30-25, 30-27) by Michigan State in Big Ten volleyball action in East Lansing on Friday. The Gophers? record falls to 8-3 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
Berg became the 12th player, and fourth Gopher, in Big Ten history to surpass the 5,000-asssist milestone and now has 5,020 for her career. A set to Cassie Busse midway through the second game was number 5,000 for Berg, who finished the match with 34 assists.
The Gophers suffered a sluggish start to the match. After a Kathy Tilson kill tied the score at 1-1, the Spartans ran off eight straight points to take a 9-1 lead. Minnesota would get no closer than eight points the rest of the game as Michigan State (8-2, 1-2) won game one by a 30-17 count. The Gophers would match their total number of kills (9) to hitting errors (9) in the game, to tally a .000 hitting percentage.
After dropping their first game in Big Ten play, the Gophers showed signs of life in the opening points of the game two. Minnesota grabbed its first leads at 2-1 and 4-3. Michigan State used a run of six points to erase the slim deficit and turn it into a 10-4 lead. The Gophers would close to within two points at 27-25, on a Busse kill, but couldn?t keep the momentum as two Minnesota hitting errors and a Spartan kill gave Michigan State a 30-25 victory in game two.
Four Erin Martin kills helped Minnesota jump to a 5-1 lead in the third game. The Gophers led by two or three points for most of the game until a late Michigan State push tied the score at 25-all. Three consecutive Spartan kills propelled Michigan State to a 30-27 win in the deciding game.
Minnesota, the Big Ten co-leader in hitting percentage entering the match, compiled a lowly .150 team percentage. Busse was the only Gopher in double figures with 10 kills. Hagen was the only Gopher to hit better than .300 in the match, collecting seven kills in 16 swings and hitting .313. Michigan State hit .312 for the match and was led by Kim Schram's 12 kills.
Minnesota concludes a four-match Big Ten road trip Saturday with a match at Michigan, beginning at 6 p.m. (CDT) in Ann Arbor, Mich.