Sept. 30, 2011
OSU, 3, Minnesota 0
The No. 10 University of Minnesota fell to No. 24 Ohio State in three sets, 23-25, 20-25 and 26-28 tonight, in Columbus, Ohio. It marks the first time the Golden Gophers (8-4, 1-2 Big Ten) have dropped a set in three, while OSU improved their record to 12-4 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
Ashley Wittman led the Gophers with 18 kills in 44 attempts, while Katherine Harms had 10 and Hailey Cowles had nine. Minnesota held a hitting percentage of .269 to OSU's .312.
Minnesota held several leads within the first set, including an 18-13 lead, but, OSU battled back and then took the lead at 23-22 to later come back and win the set, 25-23. Minnesota held a narrow lead in hitting percentage at .233 to .216. Each team had six attack errors, while Minnesota led in the blocking category, four to two.
OSU continued its momentum in the second set when it went on a 6-0 run early to put it at 11-4 and never looked back to win the second set, 25-20. Minnesota attempted a comeback as the Gophers went on a 7-1 run at the end of the set, starting at 23-14. The Gophers had kills from Cowles and Wittman to put it at 23-16. After a timeout by OSU, the Buckeyes had back-to-back attack errors and then a kill from Kaitlyn Leary to put it at set point. Minnesota had a kill and ace by Ariana Filho, but her second serve attempt when wide as the Buckeyes went up, 2-0.
Minnesota came out of the break and jumped out to a 17-12 lead in the third. However, OSU battled back and brought the match within one late at 21-20. The Gophers, however, brought the score at 24-22, but a kill by OSU and an attack error put it at 24-24. Minnesota would go each time by a point until OSU had three straight kills to win the set and the match.
Minnesota will look to rebound from the loss tomorrow night, as it travels to Penn State. The match is set for 5 p.m. CT and will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.