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The Minnesota volleyball team (22-4, 11-3) bounced back from last night's home loss to Penn State with a four-game victory over Big Ten leader Ohio State (22-2, 12-2) by scores of 30-19, 32-30, 21-30, 30-28 in front of 5,031 fans at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday, Nov. 6. Minnesota set a two match weekend record at the Sports Pavilion with 9,437 fans in the two matches against Penn State and Ohio State.
Tonight's crowd of 5,031 fans was the eighth largest in school history.
Minnesota's victory moved it to 11-3 in Big Ten play, which puts the Golden Gophers one match back of Ohio State and Penn State who are both 12-2 with six conference matches to play.
"I thought our team played real well defensively tonight," said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. "Our associate head coach David Boos designed a great game plan to try to contain Stacey (Gordon) as much as we could. It worked pretty well throughout the match, but being the great player she is she still had a pretty good night and took over in the fourth game. Our defense really did a great job of stepping up tonight."
Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) led Minnesota with 19 kills, had six blocks and hit .309 (19-4-49) for the night. Martin also had a career-high five solo blocks on the night. Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) also tied a career-high with 15 kills, had five blocks and hit .394 (15-2-33) on the night. Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) had 14 kills and three solo blocks, while Jessica Byrnes (Minnetonka, Minn.) 10 kills on the night.
Paula Gentil (Forteleza Ceara', Brazil) had a match-high 28 digs on the night, while Marci Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) and Lisa Reinhart (White Bear Lake, Minn.) finished with 11 and 10 respectively. Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) narrowly missed a triple-double with eight kills, 29 assists and 10 digs, while Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) finished with 34 assists and 18 digs.
"I thought it was a great effort tonight by both teams," said Ohio State head coach Jim Stone. "This was the type of match that is fun for the fans to watch."
Minnesota moved ahead to an early 11-10 lead in game one, and extended it to 19-12 with an 8-1 run. Ohio State scored three of the next four points to cut it to 20-15, but the Golden closed out the game with 10 of the final 14 points to claim it 30-19.
The Golden Gophers outhit the Buckeyes .405 to .116 in the game, and outblocked them 5.0-to-0.0. Minnesota only had two errors in the game, while Ohio State had 11. Martin paced the Golden Gophers with five kills.
Ohio State jumped out to a 16-13 lead in game two and moved it to a four- point lead at 23-19. Minnesota fought back to tie it at 27 with eight of the next 12 points. The Golden Gophers scored the next two points on Ohio State attack errors to move it to game point at 29-27. However, the Buckeyes fought off two game points to tie it at 29. The Golden Gophers moved it to game point at 30-29 on an Ohio State service error, but Stacey Gordon put down a kill to tie it at 30. Minnesota finally closed out the game when Martin and Nelson registered back-to-back kills to give the Golden Gophers the game at 32-30.
Minnesota had 21 kills in the game, and outhit Ohio State .237 to .179. Martin paced Minnesota with seven kills, while Nelson hit .714 (5-0-7) with five kills in the game. Gentil had 11 digs.
Ohio State stormed out to a 12-4 lead in game three. Minnesota scored four of the next six points to cut it to 14-8, but the Buckeyes moved it back out to an eight-point lead at 22-14. Ohio State would not lead by less then seven points the rest of the game, as it moved to a 30-21 game-three victory to the match to 2-1.
Ohio State outhit Minnesota .500 to .209 in the game. The Buckeyes had 19 kills and only one error on 36 attempts in the game.
Minnesota jumped out to an early 18-16 lead in game four, but Ohio State came back with five of the next eight points to tie it at 21. The Golden Gophers moved back ahead 23-21 on pair of Ohio State attack errors. Minnesota pushed it out to 25-22, but the Buckeyes answered with five of the next seven points to tie the score at 27. The two teams exchanged points to tie the score at 28, but Bratford put the match away with a kill and a service ace.
The Golden Gophers outhit the Buckeyes .254 to .226 for the match. Ohio State had 76 kills to Minnesota's 69, but also committed 32 errors to 21 for the Golden Gophers. Minnesota narrowly outdug the Buckeyes 82 to 79, and outblocked Ohio State 15.0-to-8.0.
Ohio State was led by Stacey Gordon who had 27 kills and 14 digs in the match. Minnesota held Gordon to her third-lowest hitting percentage of the season at .258 (27-8-75). Setter Marisa Main narrowly missed a triple- double with nine kills, 12 digs and 60 assists. Danielle Meyer and Brianna McCarthy had 14 and 11 kills respectively.
Minnesota hit the road again as it heads to Michigan on Friday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. (CT). The Golden Gophers will also take on Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. (CT).