Minnesota Defeats Michigan State in Five Games to win Eighth Straight Match
The Minnesota volleyball team (10-4, 4-0) won its eighth straight match, as it defeated Michigan State (10-4, 1-3) in five games by scores of 28-30, 30-25, 30-25, 26-30, 15-12 at the Sports Pavilion on Sunday, Oct. 1. With the win, Minnesota is off to its first 4-0 Big Ten start since it jumped out to a 5-0 start in 2002.
“I thought our team showed a lot of resiliency tonight,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “We bounced back after a tough first game, and battled to get the lead back. We also showed a lot of composure in the fifth game after they had just won the fourth game. It is always a good thing to pull out a tough Big Ten win like that, and we are happy to be off to a 4-0 start in conference play.”
Minnesota middle blockers Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) and Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) both had career matches as they hit .494 (46-7-79) with 46 kills between the two of them. Nelson had a career-high 24 kills, a career-high three service aces and hit .476 (24-4-42) on the night. Jones hit .514 (22-3-37) with a career-high 22 kills and had five blocks in the match.
Sophomore Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) chipped in with 17 kills, while Katie Vatterrodt (Bloomington, Minn.) had eight kills. Sophomore setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) tallied a career-high 72 assists to go with seven digs. Hartmann’s 72 assists were the most by a Golden Gopher setter since Lindsey Taatjes had 74 at Iowa on Oct. 16, 2002.
Senior Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) had six kills, four assists, 14 digs and three blocks, while Malama Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) finished with 16 digs.
Minnesota took a 2-1 lead into the fourth game, but Michigan State rallied late in the game to win 30-26 to send the match to a fifth game.
The Golden Gophers started out strong in the fifth game with a kill by Roehrig and Spartan attack error to move ahead 2-0. Both teams exchanged service errors to make it 3-1. Jones put Minnesota ahead 4-1 on a kill, but Michigan State quickly responded with a 5-0 run to rip the lead away from the Golden Gophers and move up 6-4. Minnesota evened the score at 6-6, after a Spartan service error and a solo block by Vatterrodt.
Nelson and Bowman combined on a block to give Minnesota a third straight point, and the lead back at 7-6. Michigan State fired back on a kill by Katie Johnson to tie it at seven. However, Vatterrodt and Nelson answered with back-to-back kills to push the Golden Gopher lead to 9-7.
Michigan State cut the lead to 9-8, but committed a service error to give Minnesota two-point lead back. The Golden Gophers took advantage of the opportunity with a service ace by Meghan Cumpston (Red Bluff, Calif.) and a solo block by Roehrig to put Minnesota ahead 12-8.
The Spartans scored the next three points to cut the lead to 12-11, before Roehrig halted their momentum with a kill to make it 13-11. Following a Minnesota service error that made it 13-12, Roehrig gave the Golden Gophers game point with a kill to make it 14-12. The Golden Gophers won the match when Michigan State was called for a block error after being in contact with the net.
Minnesota had a season-high 84 kills to 76 for Michigan State, however the Spartans narrowly outhit the Golden Gophers .302 to .296. Minnesota had 10 service aces and did not commit a receiving error the entire match. The Golden Gophers were outdug 65 to 55, along with being outblocked for only the second time this season 14.0-to-8.0.
With the match tied at one game apiece, Minnesota jumped out to a 17-13 lead in game three. However, Michigan State ran off three straight points to cut the lead to one at 17-16. Jones halted the Spartans momentum with a kill, and Hartmann followed with a service ace to make it 19-16. Michigan State scored three of the next four points to cut it to one at 20-19.
Vatterrodt delivered a kill to make it 21-19, but Michigan State scored the next point to make it 21-20. Nelson followed with back-to-back kills to make it 23-20. Following a Johnson kills for Michigan State that trimmed it to 23-21, Nelson delivered consecutive kills again to push it to 25-21. The two teams exchanged the next six points to move it to 28-24. Bowman and Jones combined on a block to give Minnesota game point at 29-24. Michigan State fought off the first game point, but Jones delivered a kill to give the Golden Gophers a 2-1 lead in the match.
Minnesota outhit Michigan State .484 to .400 in the game, and narrowly edged the Spartans in kills 19 to 18. Jones and Nelson led Minnesota with six kills each.
In the fourth game, the Golden Gophers led the entire way until Michigan State wrestled the lead away at 24-23. The Spartans scored the next point to push it to 25-23, but Nelson and Jones had back-to-back kills to tie it at 25. Michigan State scored the next two points to make it 27-25, but Jones delivered a kill to cut it to 27-26. The Spartans closed out the game with the final three points to even it up at two games apiece.
Michigan State outhit Minnesota .326 to .224 in the game, and had the narrow advantage in kills 19 to 18. Individually, Nelson led the way with eight kills for the Golden Gophers.
Michigan State ran out to an 10-5 lead in game one, before the Golden Gophers answered with six straight points to take the lead 11-10. The Spartans quickly responded with six of the next seven points to reclaim the lead and push it out to four points at 16-11.
The two teams exchanged the next four points to make it 18-14. Minnesota followed with six of the next seven points to take a 20-19 lead. Bowman started the run with a kill to, and Nelson and Cumpston followed with back-to-back kills to cut the Spartan lead to 18-17. Michigan State scored the next points to make it 19-17, but Cumpston and Nelson followed consecutive kills again to tie it at 19.
Minnesota scored the next point to take a 20-19, but Michigan State responded four of the next five points to move back ahead 23-21. Jones and Roehrig followed with back-to-back kills to tie the game at 23. However, the Spartans ripped the momentum back with four of the next five points to move ahead 27-24 to force a Golden Gopher timeout. Minnesota ripped off the next three points to tie it at 27. Jones started off with a kill, followed by back-to-back kills by Nelson and Bowman to tie it.
The two teams exchanged the next two points to push the score to a tie at 28. Michigan State answered with the next two points to claim the first game 30-28.
Michigan State outhit Minnesota .293 to .137 in the first game, despite the Golden Gophers 19-to-16 advantage in kills. The Spartans tallied six kills, including four of the solo variety, while Minnesota had one. Roehrig had a team-high six kills in the game.
The Spartans jumped out to a 6-4 lead in game two, but Minnesota scored four of the next six points to tie it at 8-8. Both teams traded the next six points to reach a tie score at 11. The Golden Gophers scored five of the next six points to a 16-12 lead, punctuated by consecutive kills from Roehrig and Jones. Michigan State cut it to 17-14, but Bowman delivered back-to-back kills to take a 19-14 lead. The Spartans scored the next point to make it 19-15, but Bowman answered with another kill to push it back to a five-point lead for Minnesota.
Michigan State came back with three straight points to cut the Golden Gophers lead to 20-18. Nelson halted the Spartans momentum with a kill, and Minnesota scored the next point to move ahead 22-18. Michigan State cut it to 22-20, but Nelson delivered a kill to make it a three-point lead. The Golden Gophers scored the next point to make it 24-20 to force a Spartan timeout.
Out of the timeout, Michigan State scored to make it 24-21. However, Roehrig delivered a kill and Hartmann had a service ace to give Minnesota a 26-21 lead. The Spartans scored three straight points to cut the Golden Gopher lead to 26-24. Minnesota answered with three straight points to push it to game point at 29-24. The Spartans fought off the first game point, but Cumpston delivered a kill to give the Golden Gophers game two to 30-25 to even up the match.
Minnesota outhit Michigan State .472 to .306 in the second game, and had 21 kills to 17 for the Spartans. Nelson and Jones led the Golden Gophers with six and five kills respectively in the game.
The Golden Gophers have now gone 4-1 in matches where they have lost first game this season.
Michigan State was led by Johnson who had 22 kills and hit .390 (22-6-41). Ashley Schatzle finished with 15, while Jessica Hohl had 14. Vanessa King also had 10 kills, while setter Allison Ianni finished with nine kills, 55 assists, five digs and five blocks. Nicole Cololuca also had 23 digs and nine assists.
Minnesota will be back in action on Friday, Oct. 6 when it faces No. 2 Penn State at 6 p.m. (CT). The Golden Gophers will also face No. 13 Ohio State on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 12 p.m. (CT).