Minnesota Falls to No. 2 Penn State in Four Games The University of Minnesota volleyball team (10-5, 4-1) had its eight-match winning streak snapped as it fell in four games to No. 2 Penn State (16-0, 5-0) by scores of 30-24, 25-30, 30-20, 30-26 at Rec Hall in State College, Pa. on Friday, Oct. 6.
The University of Minnesota volleyball team (10-5, 4-1) had its eight-match winning streak snapped as it fell in four games to No. 2 Penn State (16-0, 5-0) by scores of 30-24, 25-30, 30-20, 30-26 at Rec Hall in State College, Pa. on Friday, Oct. 6.
Minnesota limited PennState to its second lowest hitting percentage of the year as the Nittany Lions hit .219, which was .125 under their season average of .344. The Golden Gophers also became the first team to take a game of PennState since Oct. 28, 2005.
The Golden Gophers were led offensively by Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) who had 13 kills and two blocks. Katie Vatterrodt (Bloomington, Minn.) also had 13 kills for the Golden Gophers, while Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) had 11 kills and three solo blocks.
Sophomore setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had 44 assists, three kills, nine digs and four blocks. Malama Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) had 15 digs and two service aces, while Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) had 11 digs and three kills. Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) had seven kills, while Meghan Cumpston (Red Bluff, Calif.) tallied a pair of service aces.
PennState outhit Minnesota .219 to .131 on the match, and had 61 kills to 52 for the Golden Gophers. Minnesota was also outblocked 13.0-to-9.0 on the night.
The Golden Gophers entered game four trailing 2-1 in the match, and fell behind 15-10. Minnesota responded with 10 of the next 12 points to move ahead 20-17. Vatterrodt and Hartmann got things going with back-to-back kills to cut the lead to 15-12. PennState made it 16-12 by scoring the next point, but Roehrig had back-to-back kills to cut the lead down to two at 16-14. The teams exchanged the next two points to make it 17-15.
From that point, the Golden Gophers ran off five straight points. The run started with a kill from Jones to tie the game, and Bowman followed with a kill to give Minnesota its first lead of the game 18-17. Roehrig followed with a solo block, and Jones and Bowman combined on a block to close out the run to give the Golden Gophers a 20-17 lead.
PennState responded quickly with four straight points to take a 21-20 lead. Bowman followed with a kill to tie it at 21, but Megan Hodge came right back with a kill for PennState to give the Nittany Lions a 22-21 lead. Vatterrodt had a kill to tie it again, but Hodge answered with another kill to give Penn State a 23-22 lead. Vatterrodt responded with another kill to tie the game, and Hodge and Nicole Fawcett responded with back-to-back attack errors to give Minnesota a 25-23 lead.
The Nittany Lions answered with seven of the next eight points to close out the game to win 30-26 to claim the match.
With the match tied at 1-1, PennState jumped out to 6-5 lead in game three, and went on a 9-2 run to expand it to 15-7. Cumpston delivered a kill, and PennState committed an attack error to cut it to 15-9, but PennState came right back with consecutive points to make an eight-point lead at 17-9. Nelson answered with consecutive kills to make it 17-11, but the Nittany Lions responded again with consecutive points to make it 19-11.
PennState widened the gap with seven of the next 10 points to push its lead out to 26-14. The teams exchanged the next four points to make it 28-16. Nelson delivered a kill, followed by a Cumpston service ace to make it 28-18. However, PennState moved it to game point on a service error by Minnesota. Roehrig fought off the first game point with a kill, and the Nittany Lions had a service error to make it 29-20. The Nittany Lions claimed the game to go up 2-1 in the match when Cassy Salyer and Melissa Walbridge combined on a block.
Minnesota was outhit .412 to .105 in game three. PennState also had 17 kills to 11 for the Golden Gophers. Nelson led the way for Minnesota with five kills in the game.
Minnesota jumped out to an early two-point lead in game one at 6-4. PennState scored back-to-back points to tie the score at 6-6. The two teams exchanged points to tie it at 7-7. Roehrig delivered a kill to give Minnesota an 8-7 lead. The Nittany Lions answered with four straight points to force a Golden Gophers timeout at 11-8. Out of the timeout, PennState rattled off another four points to complete an 8-0 run to make it 15-8 to force a second Minnesota timeout.
The two teams exchanged the next four points to make it 17-10. Katie Vatterrodt (Bloomington, Ill.) delivered a kill to make it 17-11, but PennState scored the next three points to push it to 20-11. The Nittany Lions opened their largest lead of the first game at 25-15. Minnesota came back with three straight points to cut the PennState lead to seven at 25-18. The Golden Gophers got a Vatterrodt kill and Peniata service ace sandwiched around a PennState error. The Nittany Lions answered with three of the next four points to take a 28-19 lead over Minnesota. The Golden Gophers scored three of the next four points to make it 28-21 punctuated on a combined block by Nelson and Hartmann.
Minnesota followed with a service error to make it game point for PennState at 29-21. The Golden Gophers fought off the next game point with a kill from Nelson. Minnesota scored the next two points to cut the Nittany Lion lead to 29-24. However, PennState scored the next point to win game one 30-24.
PennState limited the Golden Gophers to a .000 hitting percentage, but only hit .191 in the game. Both teams had 10 kills, but the Nittany Lions outblocked Minnesota 6.5-to-2.0. PennState also had four service aces to two for the Golden Gophers. Individually, Minnesota had three kills each from Nelson, Vatterrodt and Jones in the game.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to a 7-3 lead in game two, but PennState scored four of the next six points to cut it to 9-7. Roehrig answered with a kill and Vatterrodt had a solo block to give Minnesota a four-point lead at 11-7. The Nittany Lions answered with five of the next six points to cut the Golden Gopher lead to 12-11.
Vatterrodt halted the run with a kill to make it 13-11. Nelson and Hartmann combined on a block and Nelson followed with a kill to push the lead to four points for Minnesota to force a PennState timeout. Out of the timeout, the Nittany Lions had an attack error to help the Golden Gophers complete a 4-0 run to make it 16-11. PennState cut it to 16-12, but Hartmann had a kill on a dump to make, and the Nittany Lions committed an error to give Minnesota an 18-12 lead.
PennState cut the lead to 18-13, but the Golden Gophers responded with a 5-0 run to open up a 23-13 lead. Roehrig started the run with a kill. PennState committed an error on the next point, and Jones and Bowman combined on a block to make it 21-13. The Golden Gophers scored the next point, and closed out the run on a Nelson service ace to close out the run.
The teams exchanged the next four points to make it 25-15. PennState called timeout after Roehrig kill made it a 10-point lead. The Nittany Lions scored back-to-back points to cut the Minnesota lead to 25-17. Vatterrodt delivered a kill to make it 26-17 to put the Golden Gophers back up by nine points. PennState cut it back to eight at 26-18, but Vatterrodt followed with another kill to make it 27-18.
PennState scored the next four points to cut the Minnesota lead to 27-22. The Nittany Lions followed with a service error to give the Golden Gophers a 28-22 lead. PennState scored the next three points to cut the Minnesota lead to 28-25. However, Nelson delivered a kill to give the Golden Gophers game point at 29-25. Minnesota forced PennState into an attack error to give it game two 30-25 to even the match at 1-1.
The game two loss snapped a string 43 straight games that PennState had won in Big Ten play. The last time the Nittany Lions had dropped a game in conference play was game one against Wisconsin on Oct. 28, 2005. Minnesota limited PennState to a .128 hitting percentage in game two, and hit .206. The Golden Gophers also had 16 kills to 14 for the Nittany Lions, and outblocked PennState 3.0-to-1.0 in the game. Vatterrodt led the Golden Gophers with six kills in the game.
Penn State was led by Hodge who had 20 kills and 18 digs in the match. Fawcett had 17 kills and five blocks for the Nittany Lions, while Christa Harmotto had 10 kills and six blocks. Alisha Glass had 46 assists, five blocks and five kills, while Robert Holehouse had 15 digs.
Minnesota will finish its trip this week when it faces No. 14 Ohio State (12-2, 2-2) on Sunday, Oct. 8 at (CT).