The 19th-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (14-5, 4-3) lost in four sets to No. 9 Penn State (14-5, 4-3) by scores of 25-22, 25-14, 21-25, 25-16 at Rec Hall on Friday, Oct. 15.
Minnesota was led by Tabi Love (Dauphin, Manitoba) who had 12 kills, eight digs and the Gophers' only service ace of the night. Ashley Wittman (Shakopee, Minn.) finished with 11 kills, five digs and a solo block. Senior Lauren Gibbemeyer(St. Paul, Minn.) had 11 kills and two blocks, as she returned from a wrist injury and played in her first match since Sept. 4. Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.) also had 10 kills and three digs.
Junior libero Jessica Granquist (Blaine, Minn.) finished with a match-high 20 digs, while Jess Menden (Shakopee, Minn.) had a career-high 11 digs. Sophomore Mia Tabberson (Muncie, Ind.) finished with 42 assists, five digs and two kills.
Penn State jumped out to a 22-17 lead in the first set, before the Gophers answered with a 5-0 run to tie it at 22. Blair Brown followed with a kill, and Penn State moved it to 24-22 on a rotation violation by Minnesota. The Nittany Lions put away the set on the next point.
In the second set, Penn State hit a blistering .515 as it did not committ an attack error. The Nittany Lions finished with 17 kills and no errors in 33 swings en route to a 25-14 second-set victory. The Gophers responded by outhitting Penn State .222 (13-5-36) to .158 (13-7-38) in the third set. After a service error by Penn State made it 21-20, Dixon delivered a pair of kills to make it 23-20. Minnesota pushed it to set point at 24-21, and Katherine Harms (Albertville, Minn.) came up with a solo block to give the Gophers the set.
Penn State responded by limiting Minnesota to a .033 hitting percentage (8-7-30), while the Nittany Lions hit .379 (14-3-29) to claim the third set and the match.
For the match, Penn State outhit Minnesota .296 (58-16-142) to .160 (49-25-150) and outblocked the Gophers 10.0-to-4.0. The Nittany Lions also had 58 kills to 49, and outdug Minnesota 67 to 56.
Penn State was led by Brown who had 16 kills, 18 digs and two blocks. Deja McClendon also had 17 kills, eight digs and five blocks. Alyssa D'Errico had 18 digs, and Kristin Carpenter had 50 assists, seven digs and two kills.
Tonight's match can be seen live on ESPN2 on Sunday, Oct. 17 at 12 p.m. (CT). Minnesota will be back in action at Ohio State on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 5:00 p.m. (CT). That match can be seen live on the Big Ten Network and can be heard live in the Gold Zone.