The 22nd-ranked Minnesota Gophers volleyball team (12-9, 5-6) lost its sixth straight match as it fell to No. 2 Penn State (19-2, 11-0) at the Sports Pavilion on Friday, Oct. 26. Tonight’s match will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 12 p.m. (CT).
Minnesota will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. when it plays Ohio State at Williams Arena. That match will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network (DiRecTV Channel 220). General Admission tickets will be $1 on the night.
“I thought there were some positives tonight,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “We fought hard and were competitive for most of the match until a stretch in the third game. That is a Penn State team that is among one of the best in the nation. We did some things well tonight, but Penn State is very tough to get anything started against. We will get back to work tomorrow and prepare for a good Ohio State team.”
Minnesota was led by Rachelle Hagerty (Defiance, Ohio) who tied a season-high with 10 kills. Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) had seven kills and three digs, while Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) and Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) each had six kills on the night.
Junior setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had 27 assists and six digs, while Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) finished with a match-high 13 digs and one service ace. Hailey Cowles (Eden Prairie, Minn.) also had six digs for the match.
Penn State hit .402 on the night, while Minnesota hit .068. The Nittany Lions also had 51 kills to 35 for the Golden Gophers, and outblocked Minnesota 13.0-to-3.0. On the night, the Golden Gophers were outdug 46 to 36.
Minnesota jumped out to an 8-7 lead in game one, but Penn State answered quickly with a 9-0 run to go up 16-8. Hagerty and Dieter had back-to-back kills, followed by a Nittany Lion attack error to make it 16-11. Penn State pushed the lead back out to eight points at 21-13. The Nittany Lions expanded it to 28-17, before claiming the first game 30-21.
Penn State outhit Minnesota .355 to .023, and had 15 kills to the Golden Gophers’ 12. The Nittany Lions also outblocked Minnesota 4.0-to-0.0. Dieter, Hagerty and Roehrig each had three kills in the game.
The Nittany Lions jumped out to a 15-11 lead in the second game. Minnesota trimmed the lead to 17-15 with four of the next six points. With score at 19-17, Hagerty delivered a kill and Penn State had an attack error to tie it at 19. Penn State quickly answered with three straight points to make it 22-19.
With the score at 23-20, Penn State committed a service error and Roehrig followed with a solo block to cut it to 23-22. Following a Megan Hodge kill, Roehrig and Jones delivered consecutive kills to tie it at 24 and force a Penn State timeout. Out of the timeout, the Nittany Lions scored four straight points on its way to claiming the game 30-25.
Penn State outhit Minnesota .381 to .225 in the game, and had 20 kills to 15 for the Golden Gophers. Hagerty had five kills in the game, while Jones hit .500 (4-1-6) with four kills in the game.
In the third game, the Nittany Lions ran out to a 21-8 lead and never looked back en route to closing the match out with a 30-15 game-three victory.
Hodge led Penn State on the night, hitting .607 (19-2-28) with 19 kills, 12 digs and two service aces. Nicole Fawcett had 13 kills and two blocks for the Nittany Lions. Christa Harmotto had six kills and six blocks, while Robert Holehouse had nine digs. Alisha Glass finished with 38 assists, four kills, seven digs and five blocks.