Junior outside hitter Eri n Martin (Ames, Iowa) tied a career-high with 25 kills, as 23rd-ranked Minnesota (17-7, 10-2) defeated No. 20 Wisconsin (16-6, 8-3) on Friday, Oct. 31 at the Sports Pavilion. The win moved the Golden Gophers to 10-2 in Big Ten play, which put them ahead of Illinois, Wisconsin and Penn State who are in a three-way tie for second place at 8-3.
Minnesota also moved to 13-1 in matches in which Martin has double- figure kills.
It also marked the first time since the 1987 and 1988 seasons that Minnesota has defeated Wisconsin in four matches in a row.
In game one Minnesota jumped out to a 14-10 lead, but Wisconsin scored eight of the next 12 points to tie the score at 18. After the Badgers again tied the score at 19, Tri sha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) put down a kill to give the Golden Gophers a 20-19 lead. Minnesota followed that point with six of the next seven points to take control of the game. The Golden Gophers moved on to capture game one 30-24. Martin paced the attack with 10 kills in the game, as Minnesota outhit Wisconsin .362 to .196 in the game.
Wisconsin stormed out of the gates in game two by taking an 18-10 lead. The Badgers expanded the lead to 22-11. Minnesota responded with four of the next five points to make it 23-15. Wisconsin moved it to game point at 29-21. Minnesota fought off five game points, before the Badgers claimed game two 30-25 to even the match at 1-1. Wisconsin outhit Minnesota .395 to .139 in the second game.
Minnesota jumped out to a 15-9 lead in game three. Wisconsin scored six of the next nine points to cut the lead to 19-15. However, the Golden Gophers answered with three straight points to extend the lead to 22-15. Wisconsin came right back with a 10-3 run to tie the third game at 25. The Badgers went up 27-26, but Lin dsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) answered with a kill to tie it at 27. Wisconsin went up 28-27, but Minnesota responded with three consecutive points to close out the game at 30-28 to go up 2-1 in the match. The Golden Gophers limited the Badgers to a .055 hitting percentage in the game, while Minnesota hit .130.
With the score tied at seven in game four, Minnesota took control with 11 of the next 15 points to go up 18-11. Wisconsin trimmed the lead to 19-15 with four of the next five points. However, Minnesota went on a 6-0 run to push its lead to 25-15. The Badgers cut the lead to 27-21, but that was as close at they would get as Minnesota closed the game at 30-23.
Martin hit .412 (25-4-51), had eight digs and four blocks to pace the Golden Gopher attack. Bratford added 15 kills and eight digs, while Cas sie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) had a double-double with 12 kills and a season-high 15 digs. Taatjes nearly reached a triple-double with a career-high eight kills, 10 digs and 53 assists. She also had a match-high five blocks. Pau la Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara', Brazil) also had a team-high 19 digs.
"This was a good for our team tonight," said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. "It is imperative to defend your home court to be successful in conference play and we continue to do that. I thought Erin (Martin) did a great job of shot placement. She continues to work hard at that in practice and we are seeing the results in her recent success."
Minnesota outhit Wisconsin .239 to .171. The Golden Gophers also outblocked the Badgers 12.0 to 5.0.
Wisconsin was led by Sheila Shaw who had a team-high 16 kills. Lisa Zukowski had 14 kills and 14 digs, while Aubrey Meierotto had 15 kills for the Badgers.
Minnesota will head on the road next week as it travels to Illinois on Friday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. The Golden Gophers will then go to Northwestern on Saturday, Nov. 8 a