sevenThe seventh-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (25-3, 12-1) defeated Northwestern (13-12, 6-7) by scores of 30-22, 30-18, and 30-23 on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Sports Pavilion. Minnesota has now won seven consecutive Big Ten matches, tying a school record set on three separate occasions (1985, 1999, 2000). The Golden Gophers have also won 18 straight matches against Northwestern and improve their all-time record against the Wildcats to 34-13.
“We just finished playing five of six matches on the road ,and coming in to the week we were exhausted,” said Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert. “We considered this match the start of our second season. Tonight’s win is a great way to start again.”
Minnesota claimed game one against Northwestern 30-22. The Golden Gophers opened the game with a 6-2 lead, thanks in part to Casse Busse’s (Prior Lake, Minn.) two consecutive service aces. With the lead at 16-11, Minnesota went on a 6-2 run to go up 22-13. The Wildcats clawed their way back with a 7-3 run to bring the score 26- 20. However, the Golden Gophers scored four of the final six points to seal the win. Trisha Bratford (Receda, Calif.) paced the Gophers with four kills while Lindsey Vander Well (Prinsburg, Minn.) chipped in with 13 assists. Minnesota hit an impressive .433 for the game.
The Golden Gophers took a 2-0 lead in the match by taking game two 30- 18. Minnesota jumped out to an 11-6 lead with the help of a 7-1 scoring run. Northwestern took a timeout with the score at 15-8, but Minnesota utilized a 5-2 run to go up 20-10. The Golden Gophers cruised to the win with Bratford and Busse each contributing four kills. Minnesota limited Northwestern to a -.083 hitting percentage in the game.
In game three, Minnesota closed out the match by winning 30-23. With the score tied at 14, the Golden Gophers used a 6-2 run to lead 20- 16. Minnesota then went on to score 10 of the final 18 points.
Bratford led the Golden Gophers with a match high 11 kills, while hitting .308. Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) and Busse each had nine kills and three service aces on the night. Paula Gentil had a match-high 13 digs, while Vander Well had 35 assists and nine digs.
Minnesota outhit Northwestern .330 to .097 for the match, and outblocked the Wildcats 14-10. The Golden Gophers also had nine service aces on the night.
Iowna Lodzik led the way for Northwestern with eight kills and 11 digs.
No. 7 Minnesota will host No. 13 Wisconsin on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. The Golden Gophers will attempt to “Pack the Pav” for the match against the Badgers. The match will also be telecast live on Fox Sports Net North at 2 p.m.
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