15-13)Senior middle blocker Stephanie Hagen pounded a career-high 24 kills to lead the Minnesota volleyball team to a 3-2 (30-20, 28-30, 30-21, 28-30, 15-13) victory over Wisconsin-Green Bay in a non-conference match at the Sports Pavilion on Monday.
The Gophers? All-American hit her career high total in 47 swings, with just three errors, to record a torrid hitting percentage of .447 in the match. Hagen also equaled a career best in digs with 17, notching her ninth career double-double.
The Gophers used a variety of lineups in the first two games. Minnesota seemed to have the match under control in the first game, winning 30-20, as starting setter Lindsay Vander Well directed the Gopher offense to an impressive .441 attack percentage. Hagen land six kills in nine swings in the first game.
Minnesota grabbed a 20-14 lead in the second game after an assisted block by Amanda Cipperly and Maggie Freiborg, but Green Bay fought back to tie the game at 26-26. Three Gopher hitting errors and two Phoenix kills closed helped Green Bay to a 30-28 win to tie the match at one game apiece. Minnesota hit .298 in the second game but also committed six service errors.
Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert had seen enough and returned to a lineup with experience in place of young players gaining experience. The result was a 30-21 victory as the Gophers hit .343 with Lindsey Berg back at setter. Green Bay was still unable to find an answer to Hagen, who added another five kills to her total in the game.
Despite being down by a game, the Phoenix gained confidence by hanging with the Gophers. Green Bay trailed by as many as five points at 22-17, but came back to force a fifth game by winning game four, 30-28. The Gophers? hitting percentage plummeted to .179 in the game.
Green Bay was primed for a big upset, scoring the fifth game's first point on a Tomlinson kill, then taking an 11-10 lead when Tomlinson and Leslie Kuhn stuffed a Cipperly shot. Cipperly rebounded with a kill to tie the score at 11, the fifth tie of the deciding game. Minnesota took a 13-11 lead on a pair of Green Bay hitting errors, but the Phoenix closed to within one on another Tomlinson kills. A Phoenix service error gave Minnesota its first match-point opportunity at 14-12, but Tomlinson nailed her 21st kill of the match to keep the match alive. Minnesota, however, made good on its second attempt at match point, when outside hitter Erin Martin blasted a kill off an assist by Berg.
Martin landed 14 kills to join Hagen in double figures. Cipperly recorded her first career double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs. Trisha Bratford and Lisa Reinhart added career highs of their own with 10 kills and 12 digs, respectively.
Minnesota, which will play a total of four matches this week, play host to Iowa on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Sports Pavilion.