win,The Minnesota volleyball team (20-2, 9-1) defeated Purdue (11-9, 4-6) in three games by scores of 30-16, 30-24, 30-24 on Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility. With tonight's win, and an Ohio State three-game loss to Illinois earlier in the night, Minnesota moves into a tie for first place in the Big Ten at 9-1 (at the midway point of the conference slate).
Minnesota has now won six straight matches, and 19 of its last 20.
Minnesota also matched its best 10-match Big Ten start in school history at 9-1. Those starts came in 2000 and 2002. The 20-2 start is also the Golden Gophers best since 2000, when they started out 21-1.
Four Minnesota players finished with double-figure kills. Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) hit .615 (10-2-13) with 10 kills, while Jessica Byrnes (Minnetonka, Minn.) hit .471 (10-2-17) with 10 kills as well. Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) and Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) tied with a match-high 11 kills. Martin and Bratford each had five blocks on the night. Martin had four solo blocks and Bratford had three.
Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) narrowly missed a triple-double with eight kills, 19 assists and 11 digs. Bowman also narrowly missed one with 10 kills, 26 assists and eight digs. Taatjes also hit .571 (8-0-14). Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara, Brazil) had a match-high 21 digs, while Marci Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) had 14 digs.
In game one, the two teams started out tied at three in the early stages. However, Minnesota rattled off seven of the next eight points to move ahead 10-4 and force a Purdue time out. The Boilermakers scored two of the next three points out of the time out to cut the lead to 11-6, but the Golden Gophers responded with the next four points to move ahead 15-6. Purdue scored the next two points to cut it to 15-8, but Minnesota answered with five of the next six points to go ahead 20-9.
Purdue cut the lead to 22-14 with five of the next seven points. However, the Golden Gophers responded with seven of the next nine points to push it to game point at 29-16. Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) ended the game on the next point with a kill to give Minnesota 1-0 lead in the match.
Minnesota held Purdue to a -.073 hitting percentage, and hit .308 in game one. The Golden Gophers had 17 kills to the Boilermakers eight. Martin and Byrnes each had four kills in the game, while Gentil and Peniata had seven digs apiece.
Martin started the second game off with three straight kills to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead. Purdue scored six of the next nine points to tie the game at six. The two teams exchanged the next four points to tie the game at eight, but the Golden Gophers scored five of the next seven points to take a 13-10 lead. Purdue answered back with five of the next seven points to tie the game at 15. The Boilermakers scored four of the next six points to move ahead 19-17, which forced Minnesota to call a time out. The Golden Gophers came out of the time out with two straight kills by Martin to tie the game at 19, which forced Purdue a time out of their own.
Purdue came out their time out with a point to move ahead 20-19, but Martin responded with two more kills to push Minnesota ahead 21-20. Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) and Martin combined on a block to and Nelson followed with a kill to push the Golden Gophers' lead out to 23-20 to force another Purdue time out. The Boilermakers cut the lead to 23-21, but Minnesota ripped off three straight points to go up 26-21. Purdue cut the lead to 28-24, but the Golden Gophers answered with final two points to close out game two 30-24.
Minnesota had 20 kills to 14 for Purdue in game two, and outhit the Boilermakers .300 to .205. Martin paced the Golden Gophers with seven kills, while Bowman and Bratford each had four in the game. Bratford also had a pair of solo blocks in the game.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to a 6-3 lead in game three, but Purdue scored the next three points to tie the score at six. Minnesota answered with the next two points to go up 8-6, but the Boilermakers scored four the next six points to tie the game at 10. The Golden Gophers came right back with six of the next seven points to build up a 16-11 lead. Purdue cut the lead to 18-15 with four of the next six points. Bowman and Bratford slammed down consecutive kills to put Minnesota back up by five points at 20-15, which forced the Boilermakers to call a time out. Purdue cut the lead to 24-20, but Minnesota responded with three straight points to move ahead 27-20. The Boilermakers cut it back to four points at 27-23 to force the Golden Gophers to take a time out. Minnesota scored two of the next three points to move it to match point at 29-24. Nelson fired a service ace to give Minnesota the match.
Minnesota outhit Purdue .295 to .082 for the match, and had 56 kills to the Boilermakers' 39. The Golden Gopher also had 68 digs to Purdue's 45, and outblocked the Boilermakers 12.0-to-6.0.
Purdue was led by Kim McConaha and Leah Wischmeier who each had 10 kills on the night.
Minnesota will resume its four-match road trip on Friday Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. when it travels to Northwestern. The Golden Gophers will finish up the road swing with a match against Wisconsin on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. The Minnesota-Wisconsin match will be shown on a tape-delay basis on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 1:30 p.m.