8.The third-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (15-2, 4-1) swept Wisconsin (8-5, 2-3) in three games by scores of 30-22, 30-26, 31-29 in front of a crowd of 3,829 in the Sports Pavilion on Friday, Oct. 8. It marks the first time since Nov. 6, 1996 that Minnesota swept a three-game match from Wisconsin.
Jessica Byrnes (Minnetonka, Minn.) led the Minnesota attack with 12 kills. Byrnes hit .400 (12-2-25) on the night. Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) also had 11 kills for the Golden Gophers. Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) had a team- high 13 digs, along with 16 assists and six kills. Taatjes also hit .455 (6-1-11) on the night. Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) also had six kills, 27 assists and 11 digs. Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara, Brazil) and Marci Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) each had 10 digs on the night.
Minnesota and Wisconsin were tied at 20 at one point in each of the three games. Down the stretch of game one the Golden Gophers outscored Wisconsin 10-2. Minnesota also outscored the Badgers 10-6 down the stretch of game two, and barely pulled out game three 31-29 by outscoring Wisconsin 11-9 in the final 20 points.
"Wisconsin went with a strategy where there hitters went away from Paula (Gentil) tonight," said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. "They did a good job of executing it and played very well in the first two-thirds of each game. Wisconsin just made some costly errors towards the end of each game, and we capitalized on them, getting the right points at the right times in the match."
The two teams were tied at nine in game one, before Minnesota scored seven of the next 10 points to go up 16-12. Wisconsin responded with five of the next six points to tie the game at 17. With the score tied at 20, Minnesota took control with 10 of the next 12 points to claim game one 30-22.
Minnesota outhit Wisconsin .300 to .190 in game one. Byrnes led the way with six kills, while Taatjes and Bowman had six and five digs respectively in the game.
Wisconsin jumped out to a 5-1 lead in game two, but the Golden Gophers scored 10 of the next 15 points to take a 11-10 lead. The game remained close, but Minnesota jumped out to a 19-17 lead at one point. The Badgers answered with three of the next four points to tie the game at 20. The Golden Gophers scored the next three points to go up 23-20, but Wisconsin answered right back with three points to tie it at 23. The two teams remained tied at 26, but Byrnes put down a kill to give Minnesota at 27-26 lead. Following an attack error, Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif..) rifled a service ace to give the Golden Gophers game point at 29-26. Martin put down the kill to give Minnesota game two 30-26.
Minnesota had 19 kills to Wisconsin's 17, but were outhit .293 to .279 in the game. Martin and Bratford had six and five kills respectively in the game.
The Golden Gophers appeared to be getting ready to put way the match with a 28-25 lead in game three. However, Wisconsin rattled off the next four points to force game point at 29-28. Taatjes put down a kill to tie the game at 29. Wisconsin followed with an attack error to give Minnesota match point at 30-29, and Taatjes followed with a service to give the Golden Gophers the match.
Minnesota outhit Wisconsin .202 to .153. The two teams finished even in kills with 48 apiece. The Golden Gophers held a slim margin in digs at 55 to 52, but were outblocked 10.0-to-6.0. Minnesota had four service aces and only two service errors, but Wisconsin had eight service errors and one service ace.
Maria Carlini had 13 kills and eight digs for the Badgers on the night. Jill Odenthal finished with 10 kills and three blocks. Jocelyn Wack had a match- high 21 digs, while setter Katie Lorenzen had 35 assists, four blocks and seven digs.
Minnesota will host Northwestern on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 7 pm in the Sports Pavilion.