The Minnesota Golden Gophers volleyball team (13-10, 6-7) snapped a seven-match losing streak with a three-game victory over Iowa (9-15, 1-12) by scores of 30-20, 30-27, 30-25 on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at the Sports Pavilion.
“It was good to come out tonight and get back in the win column,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “I thought our team played with a lot of confidence tonight. That helped us play without hesitation, which has crept in at time during this losing streak. I thought we communicated well tonight, and had a good all-around effort as a team.”
Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) and Katie Vatterrodt (Bloomington, Ill.) led the attack with 14 kills apiece. Gibbemeyer also had 11 digs for a double-double, and tied with a match-high five blocks. Vatterrodt had a season-high in both kills and digs (6) on the night, to go with three blocks.
Senior middle blocker Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) hit .409 (12-3-22) with 12 kills and tied with a team-high five blocks. Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) also had nine kills, 10 blocks and three blocks on the night.
Junior setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had 46 assists and five blocks on the night. Sophomore libero Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) finished with 17 digs in the match.
Minnesota outhit Iowa .243 to .086, marking the second straight match the Golden Gophers have held an opponent under a .100 hitting percentage. They also had 57 kills to 41 for the Hawkeyes, and outblocked Iowa 13.5-to-.6.0.
Minnesota jumped out to an early 4-2 lead in the first game, and expanded it to 12-2 with an 8-0 run. Iowa scored the next point to make it 12-3, but the Golden Gophers responded with three straight points and made it 15-3 when Vatterrodt and Gibbemeyer combined on a block.
The Hawkeyes came back with the consecutive points to make it 15-5, but the Golden Gophers moved the lead to 18-5 with three straight points of their own. Iowa scored three of the next four points to cut it to 19-8. Minnesota scored the next three points to take its biggest lead of the match at 22-8.
With the score at 23-10, Iowa responded with five of the next seven points to bring the score to 25-15. Minnesota scored four of the next five points, and made it game point at 29-16 on a kill by Gibbemeyer. Iowa fought off four game points, before Gibbemeyer put away a kill to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead in the match.
Minnesota outhit Iowa .289 to .000, and had 17 kills to 12 in the game. The Golden Gophers also outblocked the Hawkeyes 4.0-to-2.0 in the game. Gibbemeyer hit .583 (8-1-12) with eight kills in the game.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the second game, but Iowa answered with six of the next eight points to cut the Minnesota lead to 16-14. The Hawkeyes trimmed the lead to 18-17, before the Golden Gophers scored consecutive points and took a 20-17 lead on a kill by Dieter.
Iowa came back with three of the next four points to cut it to 21-20. The two teams exchanged the next six points to make it 24-23. The Hawkeyes tied the game at 24. Gibbemeyer delivered a kill to make it 25-24, but Iowa scored the next two points to take a 26-25 lead. Roehrig and Jones sandwiched kills around a block to put Minnesota back up at 28-26. After the Hawkeyes cut it to 28-27, Dieter delivered back-to-back kills to give Minnesota game two.
Minnesota outhit Iowa .302 to .208 in the game, and had 23 kills to 16 for the Hawkeyes. Vatterrodt and Jones each had six kills in the game.
The Golden Gophers fell behind 11-5 to start game two. Iowa led by five points at 14-9, before Minnesota ripped off a 9-0 run to make it 18-14. The Hawkeyes came right back with three straight points to make it 18-17. The two teams exchanged the next four points to make it 20-19.
Minnesota responded with six of the next seven points, and moved ahead 26-20 when Hartmann and Jones teamed up on a block. Iowa cut the lead to 27-24, before the Hawkeyes committed a service error. After Iowa brought the score to 28-25, Vatterrodt delivered a solo block to make it match point at 29-25. Dieter delivered a kill to give Minnesota a three-game victory.
Iowa was led by Megan Schipper who had 11 kills, while Catherine Smale had seven kills and 10 digs. Kiley Fister had 31 assists, 10 digs and three kills on the night, while Emily Hiza had a match-high 24 digs.
Minnesota will be in action next when it travels to Michigan on Friday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. (CT). That match can be heard live on gophersports.com.