The 12th-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (15-2, 5-0) defeated Indiana (9-8, 1-4) in three sets by scores of 25-21, 25-17, 25-18 at the Sports Pavilion on Friday, Oct. 10. With the victory the Golden Gophers move to 5-0 in Big Ten play.
It marked the fourth time Minnesota has started out 5-0 in Big Ten play under Mike Hebert. The Golden Gophers were 5-0 last year, started out 5-0 in 2002 and jumped out to a 7-0 start in 1999.
Minnesota’s 15-2 start also matches its best since 2005. The Golden Gophers had similar starts in 2004 (15-2), 2002 (15-2) and 2000 (16-1) in their first 17 matches of the season.
Penn State defeated Iowa earlier in the night to move to 5-0, which will set up a battle for first place at Williams Arena on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. That match can be seen in its entirety starting at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.
Minnesota was led by Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) who hit .452 (17-3-31) with 17 kills and three blocks. Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) also had a double-double with 10 kills, 11 digs and finished with three solo blocks. Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) had seven kills and four blocks (three solo blocks) on the night.
“I thought we did a good job tonight getting Indiana out of rhythm offensive with our serving,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “They had trouble getting clean passes off for most of the night, and we usually thrive when we are able to take teams out of their system. I also thought we played an efficient match, and did a good job against a quality Big Ten opponent who starting the match playing very well against us.”
Senior Kelly Schmidt (Champaign, Ill.) finished with seven kills, hit .417 (7-2-12) and had two blocks for Minnesota. Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) had a match-high 15 digs, four assists and two service aces, while Hailey Cowles (Eden Prairie, Minn.) finished with 11 digs and two kills. Senior Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had 40 assists and seven digs on the night as well.
The Golden Gophers outhit the Hoosiers .259 to .155 on the night, and had 48 kills to 37 for Indiana. Minnesota also outblocked the Hoosiers 10.0-to-8.0 to bring its streak to 18 straight matches that it has outblocked opponents dating back to last year. The Golden Gophers also had a season-high seven solo blocks on the night. Minnesota outdug Indiana 52 to 43 for the match. The Golden Gophers finished with four service aces, and for the third time this year did not give one up to their opposition.
Minnesota ran out to a 7-4 lead to start the first set, but the Hoosiers scored four of the next six points to cut the lead to 9-8. The Golden Gophers moved to a 12-10 lead after a kill by Dieter, but Indiana answered with five of the next six points to take a 15-13 lead. Minnesota scored four straight points to go ahead 17-15. The Golden Gophers took the lead on a kill by Gibbemeyer and moved to the two-point lead after Gibbemeyer and Hartmann combined on a block.
The Golden Gophers moved the lead out to 19-16, before the Hoosiers called a timeout. After Indiana cut the lead to 19-17, Roehrig lifted Minnesota to a 22-17 lead with three consecutive kills. The Hoosiers responded with three of the next four points to cut the lead to 23-20. Both teams exchanged points to make it 24-21 to give Minnesota set point. Dieter delivered a kill to give the Golden Gophers a 25-21 victory in the first set.
Minnesota outhit Indiana .211 to .130 in the first set, and had 15 kills to 14 for the Hoosiers. Gibbemeyer and Roehrig each had four kills in the first set for the Golden Gophers. Erica Short led Indiana with nine of the Hoosiers 14 kills in the set.
In the second set, the Golden Gophers jumped out to a 9-7 lead. Minnesota extended its lead to 16-7 with a 7-0 run that was punctuated by a service ace by Tan and a kill by Luiz. After Indiana made it 16-8, the Golden Gophers pushed it to 19-8 with three straight points. Minnesota moved the lead to 22-12 after a kill by Schmidt.
The Hoosiers cut the Golden Gophers lead to 22-16 with four straight points. However, Minnesota scored back-to-back points and made it set point at 24-16 after a Schmidt kill. Indiana fought off the first set point, but Dieter delivered a kill to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead in the match.
In the second set, the Golden Gophers outhit Indiana .282 to .194 and had 17 kills to 11 for the Hoosiers. Gibbemeyer led Minnesota with five kills in the set.
Minnesota ran out to a 5-2 lead in the third set, but the Hoosiers responded with five of the next seven points to tie the set at seven. The Golden Gophers answered by ripping off six straight points to move ahead 13-7. Gibbemeyer had a pair of kills, and Roehrig had a solo block to help key the 6-0 run. Indiana scored the next three of the next four points to cut the lead to 14-10, but Schmidt answered with a kill and Roehrig had a solo block to put the Golden Gophers back up by six points.
Indiana cut the lead to four points again at 16-12, but the Golden Gophers again moved out to a six-point lead at 20-14 after a kill by Gibbemeyer. With the score at 21-15, Minnesota scored two of the next three points and went up 23-16 on a kill by Gibbemeyer. Dieter made it match point at 24-17, and Schmidt delivered a kill to give the Golden Gophers the three-set victory.
The Hoosiers were led by Short who had 18 of Indiana’s 37 kills on the evening. Kelsey Hall also had nine kills and five digs, while Caitlin Cox had 14 digs and three assists.