The ninth-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (16-5, 7-2) defeated Michigan State (14-8, 2-8) in five sets by scores of 25-14, 19-25, 21-25, 25-17, 15-9 at the Sports Pavilion on Friday, Oct. 23.
Freshman Tabitha Love (Dauphin, Manitoba) led the way with a career-high 18 kills, while junior Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) hit .370 (12-2-27) with 12 kills, five digs and four blocks. Hailey Cowles collected a team-high 16 digs and had eight kills, three assists, and one service ace. Senior Megan Wilson (Lincoln, Neb.) also had seven kills, a season-high six blocks and three assists.
Senior libero Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) had 15 digs and a service ace, while Jessica Granquist (Blaine, Minn.) had 14 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Ariana Filho (Monument, Colo.) collected seven kills and three blocks. Senior setter Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) had 27 assists, seven digs and four kills, while Mia Tabberson (Muncie, Ind.) collected 19 assists and four digs after entering the match late in the third set.
Minnesota outhit Michigan State .199 to .130, while each team finished with 57 kills. The Golden Gophers collected four service aces to three for the Spartans. Michigan State outblocked Minnesota 13.0-to-8.0, and had 78 digs to 73 for the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota entered the fourth set trailing 2-1 after dropping the third set 25-21. The Golden Gophers responded in a big way, as they jumped out to a 12-2 lead. Following a kill by Wilson, Minnesota moved the lead to 14-3. After tacking on two more points to make it 16-3, Michigan State scored four of the next six points to make it 18-7.
The Spartans cut the lead to 21-14 after a kill by Becca Zlabis, but Love responded with a kill to make it 22-14. With the score at 23-17, Cowles delivered a kill to make it set point at 24-17. The Golden Gophers took the set to even up the match after a blocking error was called on Michigan State.
Minnesota outhit Michigan State .289 to .073 in the fourth set, and had 14 kills to 12 for the Spartans. Love led the way with five kills in the set.
In the fifth set, Michigan State jumped out to a 4-3 lead. However, Love answered with a kill and Filho and Wilson combined on a block to make it 5-4. Minnesota pushed it to 6-4 after a Spartan attack error, but Michigan State answered with three straight points to move ahead 7-6.
Cowles tied it at seven with a kill, and Gibbemeyer and Wilson combined on a block to give Minnesota an 8-7 lead. After a Spartan attack error, Gibbemeyer and Wilson teamed up on a block again to make it 10-7. The Golden Gophers forced Michigan State into three straight attack errors to take a 13-7 lead.
Michigan State cut the led to 13-9 with consecutive points, but Gibbemeyer answered with a kill to make it match point at 14-9. On the next point, Gibbemeyer and Tabberson combined on a block to give Minnesota the five-set victory.
In the first set, Michigan State jumped out to a 7-5 lead, but Love sandwiched a pair of kills around a Michigan State attack error to give Minnesota an 8-7 lead. With the score tied at nine, Minnesota ran off four straight points to take a 13-9 lead. After a Michigan State service error, Cowles had a kill and a solo block to help spark the 4-0 run.
The Golden Gophers pushed it out to 15-10 on a service ace by Cowles. Michigan State moved it to 15-11, but Love and Carico followed with consecutive kills to make it 17-11. Gibbemeyer followed with a service ace, and Minnesota moved ahead 19-11 on a Spartan attack error.
Minnesota expanded the lead to 22-13 after a kill by Cowles, and Wilson and Wilson Filho combined on a block to push it to 23-14. After a Spartan attack error made it set point at 24-14, Tan delivered a service ace to give the Golden Gophers a 25-14 victory in the first set.
The Golden Gophers outhit Michigan State .333 to .059 in the first set, and had 12 kills to 10 for the Spartans. Cowles, Love and Filho each had three kills in the set.
With Minnesota trailing 11-10 in the second set, Michigan State scored four straight points to take a 15-10 lead. The Spartans held the five-point lead at 18-13, and expanded it to 21-13. The Golden Gophers cut the lead to 23-18 on a kill by Wilson. However, the Spartans closed out the set with two of the next three points to even the match at one set apiece.
In the set, the Spartans outhit Michigan State .297 to .105, and had 16 kills to 11 for the Golden Gophers. Love led Minnesota with four kills in the set.
The third set featured 16 ties between the Golden Gophers and Spartans. With the scored tied at 16, Michigan State ripped off three straight points to move ahead 19-16. Minnesota cut the lead to 19-17 on a kill by Wilson, but the Spartans answered with consecutive points to make it 21-17. Michigan State held the Golden Gophers at bay the rest of the set, as it moved on to claim it 25-21.
The Spartans outhit Minnesota .275 to .136 in the set, despite the fact that the Golden Gophers had 15 kills to 13 for Michigan State. In the set, the Spartans collected five blocks to none for Minnesota. Gibbemeyer paced the Golden Gophers with four kills in the set.
Michigan State was led by Zlabis who had 16 kills and 13 digs, while Kyndra Abron had 13 kills and five blocks. Megan Schatzle also had 12 kills and seven digs. Allyson Karaba finished with a match-high 28 digs, while setter Natalie Emro had 44 assists, six digs and six kills.
Minnesota will be back in action when it hosts No. 11 Michigan at Williams Arena on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. That match can be seen live on the BigTenNetwork.com and heard live in the Gold Zone.