4-Sarah Florian (Holland, Ohio.) matched a career-high with 16 kills as the Minnesota volleyball team (14-2, 4-1) defeated Iowa (11-7, 1-4) in three games by scores of 30-22, 30-17, 30-15on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at the Sports Pavilion. The Golden Gophers have now won 11 of their last 12 matches.
“I think the key to tonight was how well we passed and served as a team,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “Iowa came into this match as team that was serving the ball really well. We did a good job of handling that and passed well throughout the match. We also served very tough tonight. That combination put Iowa on its heels for most of the night.”
Sophomore Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) also had double-figure kills with 11, and hit .786 (11-0-14) for the match. Junior Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) had five kills, 31 assists and 12 digs for the match.
Senior Paula Gentil (Forteleaza, Ceara’, Brazil) had a match-high 22 digs and three service aces, while Malama Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) had 11 digs and two service aces. Junior Meredith Nelson (St. Croix, Wis.) also had seven kills for Minnesota.
In game one, Minnesota fell behind 3-2 before going on a 5-0 run to take a 7-3 lead over Iowa. The Hawkeyes scored two of the next three points to cut the lead to 8-5. The Golden Gophers maintained a three-point lead at 11-8, before scoring eight of the next 11 points to take a 19-11 lead. With Minnesota’s lead at 24-16, Iowa rattled off four of the next five points to cut the lead to 25-20 to force a Golden Gopher timeout.
Out of the timeout, Minnesota scored two straight points to go up 27-20 when Jones had a kill and combined on a block. With the score at 28-22, Florian delivered a kill to make it game point at 29-22. The Golden Gophers closed out the game on the next point at 30 -22.
Minnesota outhit Iowa .273 to .086 in the first game, and had 18 kills to 10 for the Hawkeyes. Florian and Nelson each had five kills to lead the way for the Golden Gophers in the game, while Jones had four kills in five swings.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to a quick 10-5 lead to start game two. Iowa answered with consecutive points to cut it to 10-7, but Minnesota scored six of the next seven points to push its lead out to 16-8. Iowa came back with consecutive points to make it 16-10, but the Golden Gophers responded with five of the next six points to push the lead out to 21-11 to force a Hawkeye timeout.
The Hawkeyes cut the lead to 24-16, before Minnesota rattled off five straight points to push it to game point at 29-16. Iowa scored to make it 29-17, but Jones put down a kill to give Minnesota the second game 30-17.
Minnesota outhit Iowa .235 to -.021 in the second game, and had 19 kills to seven for the Hawkeyes. Cumpston had six kills in the game, while Florian finished with five.
In the third game, Minnesota jumped out to a 14-2 lead and never looked back as it won 30-15 to close out the match. The Golden Gophers limited the Hawkeyes to a .088 hitting percentage, and hit .368 on the night. Florian had also had six kills in the game for Minnesota.
Minnesota outhit the Hawkeyes .286 to .043 on the night, and had 56 kills to Iowa’s 25. It marked the 10th time in 16 matches that the Golden Gophers have held a team to under a .100 hitting percentage. Minnesota also outdug Iowa 66 to 47, and had eight service aces to zero for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa was lead by Tiana Costanzo who finished with six kills and 10 digs for the night along with Melanie Meister who had four kills and five blocks. Setter Kiley Fister finished with 20 assists, nine digs, and three blocks. Emily Hiza also had a team high 12 digs.
Minnesota will travel to Bloomington, Ind. on Friday, Oct. 7 to play Indiana at 7 p.m. That match will be webcast live on gophersports.com.