Minnesota Defeats Wisconsin in Four Sets Minnesota snapped a four-match losing streak, as it defeated Wisconsin in four sets by scores of 25-15, 25-23, 13-25, 26-24.
The 20th-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (15-7, 5-5) snapped a four-match losing streak, as it defeated Wisconsin (13-8, 2-8) in four sets by scores of 25-15, 25-23, 13-25, 26-24 in front of 6,268 fans at Williams Arena on Sunday, Oct. 24. The 6,268 fans was the seventh-highest crowd in school history.
Ashley Wittman (Shakopee, Minn.) finished with 14 kills, 13 digs and two assists, while sophomore Katherine Harms (Albertville, Minn.) came in during the second set and finished with 12 kills and hit a season-best .600 (12-0-20) for the match. Tabi Love finished with 11 kills, six digs and two blocks, while Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) had nine kills and three blocks.
Junior Jessica Granquist (Blaine, Minn.) finished with 17 digs and a season-best four assists. It was the first time since Sept. 18 that Granquist did not finished with the match high in digs. Stephanie Nucci (Gilbert, Ariz.) had 29 assists and nine digs, while Mia Tabberson (Muncie, Ind.), who played in two sets, had 15 digs, eight digs and a service ace.
Minnesota limited Wisconsin to a -.056 hitting percentage in the first set as the Badgers finished with only eight kills and the Gophers had 13 kills and four blocks. In the second set, Minnesota trailed 12-10, before scoring five of the next seven points to take a 15-14 lead. The Badgers moved back ahead at 21-19, but Gibbemeyer answered with a kill and Wisconsin committed an attack error.
After Wisconsin move ahead 22-21, Ariana Filho and Wittman combined on a block and Harms followed with a kill. The Gophers made it set point on a Badger attack error. After Wisconsin fought off the first set point, Wittman put down a kill to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead in the match. The Gophers narrowly outhit Wisconsin .186 to .163, despite the fact that the Badgers had 16 kills to 15 for Minnesota.
In the third set, Wisconsin hit a blistering .389 (16-2-36) and limited the Gophers to a .152 hitting percentage (9-4-33) on the way to a 25-13 third-set victory.
Wisconsin ran out to a 9-6 lead in the fourth set, but the Gophers answered with six of the next seven points to take a 12-10 lead. The Badgers responded with five of the next six points to move out to a 15-13 lead. Minnesota finally took a measure of control on a Wittman kill that made it 19-17. The Gophers expanded the lead to 22-19 on a Wittman kill, but Wisconsin answered with three straight points to tie it at 22. Harms answered with consecutive kills to make it match point at 24-22. After a Gopher service error, Janelle Gabrielsen had a kill to even it at 24. Harms answered with another kill and Love put away the match with a kill to give Minnesota the four-set victory.
The Gophers outhit Wisconsin .215 to .193 in the match, and both teams finished with 56 kills. Minnesota outblocked the Badgers 8.0-to-5.0 on the night, but Wisconsin had the edge in digs with 79 to 68 for the Gophers. Minnesota had three service aces to one for the Badgers.
Minnesota will be back in action when it hosts Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. That match can be seen live on the Big Ten Network. The Golden Gophers will then welcome in No. 22 Northwestern on Friday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. That match can be seen on BigTenNetwork.com. Both matches can be head live in the Gold Zone.