sThe Minnesota volleyball team (16-4, 6-3) lost to No. 20 Ohio State (13-5, 6-3) in three games by scores of 30-28, 30-26, 30-28 on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Sports Pavilion. It was only Minnesota’s second three-game loss since the 2003 season.
“We struggled to get anything going tonight,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “Our team did not really play well at any part of the game tonight, and Ohio State was very crisp. Ohio State runs a very quick offense, and we knew we would have to be ready to defend it. We were a step slow tonight. Give Ohio State credit for playing a good match tonight.”
Sarah Florian (Holland, Ohio) and Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) each had 12 kills on the night. Jones added four blocks, while Florian had nine digs. Junior Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) had 40 assists, four kills, five digs and four blocks.
Senior Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara’, Brazil) had a match-high 15 digs for the Golden Gophers. Meghan Cumpston (Red Bluff, Calif.) and Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) each had nine kills on the night for Minnesota.
In the first game Minnesota jumped out to a 16-13 lead, but Ohio State scored 10 of the next 13 points to claim a 23-19 lead. The Golden Gophers answered with three of the next four points to cut the lead to 24-22. Ohio State scored the next two points to make it 26-22 to force a Minnesota timeout. The Golden Gophers scored three of the next four points to make it 27-25 to force a Buckeye timeout.
Out of the timeout, Jones had a kill to make it 27-26. On the same play, freshman Michele Wilber (Anoka, Minn.) had a couple of key digs to keep the point alive for the Golden Gophers. Bowman finished off a long rally with a kill on the next point to tie the game at 27. The two teams exchanged points to tie the score at 28. However, Ohio State closed out the game with consecutive points to win it 30-28.
The Buckeyes outhit Minnesota .208 to .128 in the game, and had 18 kills to the Golden Gophers’ 16. Florian and Cumpston led the way for Minnesota with four kills apiece in the game.
Ohio State jumped out to a 14-11 lead in game two, but Minnesota scored cut the lead to 18-17. With the score at 20-19, the Buckeyes rattled off three straight points to go up 23 -19. Ohio State finished off a 7-1 run to push the lead out to 27-20. The Buckeyes got it to game point at 29-23, but Minnesota fought off three straight game points to make it 29-26. However, Ohio State finished it off at 30-26 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Minnesota jumped out to a 19-15 lead in game three, but Ohio State came back with six of the next eight points to tie it at 21. Jones delivered a kill to the give the Golden Gophers a 22-21 lead. However, the Buckeyes scored four straight points to go up 25-22. Freshman Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) and Bowman delivered back-to-back kills to cut it to 25-24, but Ohio State scored two straight points of its own to push it back up to 27 -24. With the score at 28-26, Minnesota scored two straight points on Buckeye errors to tie at 28. However, Nicole Britenriker delivered a block and kill to give Ohio State the three-game victory.
The Golden Gophers were outhit .257 to .202 on the night. The .257 hitting percentage was the best by a Minnesota opponent this season. Ohio State also had 60 kills to the Golden Gophers’ 49. The Buckeyes outdug Minnesota 54 to 50 and oublocked the Golden Gophers 10.0-to-9.0.
Ohio State was led by setter Marisa Main who had a triple-double with 12 kills, 37 assists and 13 digs. Danielle Meyer had a match-high 15 kills and six digs, while Amanda Miller had 11 kills. Britenriker also finished with nine kills, 11 digs and five blocks.
Minnesota will host No. 3 Penn State on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. That match will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 12 noon.