JoFor the second straight season Minnesota (12-7, 5-2) rallied from a 2- 1 deficit to defeat Ohio State (7-8, 1-6), as it won by scores of 20- 30, 30-17, 29-31, 30-24, 15-11 on Friday, Oct. 17 at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The win was the Golden Gophers fifth straight overall and in Big Ten play.
It also marked the first time since 1980 and 1982 that the Golden Gophers have won two straight matches at Ohio State. The two teams played both matches in 1981 at a neutral site venue.
Minnesota jumped out to a 7-5 lead in game five. Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) tallied a kill to put the Golden Gophers up 8-5, and Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) followed with one of her own to go up 9-5. Following an Ohio State point, which cut the lead to 9-6, Minnesota responded with two straight points including a service ace by Bratford to go up 11-6. After Ohio State scored to trim the lead to 11-7, Busse registered a kill to make it 12-7. Minnesota scored two of the next three points to move it to match point at 14-8. Ohio State cut the lead to 14-9, but Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) put down a kill to give Minnesota the match.
Ohio State jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead in the first game. The Buckeyes continued to control the first game with a 17-11 lead. However, Minnesota scored four of the next five points to cut the lead to 18-15. Ohio State answered with an 8-1 run to go up 26-16, and moved on to a 30-20 game one victory. The Buckeyes hit .323, while Minnesota hit -.077 with 12 errors in the first game. Busse paced Minnesota with five kills in the first game.
The Buckeyes jumped out to an early 10-7 lead in game two, but Minnesota rallied to tie the score at 12. From that point, the Golden Gophers went on a 13-2 run to go up 25-14. Minnesota scored five of the final eight points to take game two 30-17, and evened the match at 1-1. The Golden Gophers outhit the Buckeyes .108 to -.130 in the game. Minnesota also registered six blocks in the game. Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) tallied four blocks individually, while Busse led the way with four kills in the game. Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara', Brazil) tallied nine digs in game two.
In the third game Minnesota fell behind 16-13 to Ohio State. The Golden Gophers rallied to tie the score at 18. Minnesota took its first lead of the game at 19-18. Ohio State answered with three of the next four points to take a 21-20 lead. Minnesota struck back with four of the next five points to take a 24-22 lead. The Golden Gophers extended the lead to 27-24, but Ohio St ripped off four straight points to go up 28-27. After a Buckeye service error tied the score at 28, Ohio State's Stacey Gordon put down a kill to make it game point at 29-28. Minnesota fought off game point to tie the score at 29, but the Buckeyes answered by scoring the next two points to take the game 31-29 as they moved up 2-1 in the match. Ohio State outhit Minnesota .151 to .000 in the third game. Busse paced Minnesota's attack with six kills in the game.
Minnesota jumped out to a quick 8-5 lead in game four, and extended the lead to 14-5 with a 6-0 run. Ohio State scored 10 of the next 15 points to cut the lead to 19-15. With a 23-18 lead, the Golden Gophers widened the margin to 27-19 with three of the next four points. Ohio State answered by scoring the next three points to cut the lead to 27-22. However, Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) stopped the run with a kill from Gentil to make it 28-22. The Buckeyes scored two in a row to cut it to 28-24, but Bratford's kill made it 29-24. Minnesota took the next point to win the game 30-24 and tie the match at 2-2. The Golden Gophers outhit the Buckeyes .154 to -.119 in the game. Bratford paced the Golden Gophers with six kills. Minnesota also had 8.5 blocks in the game.
Busse led the attack for Minnesota with 20 kills, eight digs, five blocks and three service aces. Bratford also tallied double-figure kills with 11 and had six blocks. Nelson tied her career-high with 11 blocks in the match. Taatjes tallied 42 assists, 12 digs and a season- high five blocks. Gentil tallied a match-high 24 digs, while Lisa Reinhart (White Bear Lake, Minn.) had 12 digs in the match.
Minnesota outblocked Ohio State 19.5 to 16.0. The Golden Gophers hit only .081, but held the Buckeyes to .075 in the match.
Stacey Gordon led Ohio State with 28 kills and 12 digs, but Minnesota held her to .195 on the night. Heather Whalen and Katherine Grant each had 10 kills on the night.
The Golden Gophers will continue their four-match Big Ten road swing when they head to Columbus, Ohio to take on No. 13 Penn State on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m.