wNo. 20 ranked Minnesota (17-9, 10-4) volleyball team lost Northwestern (16-10, 7-7) in three games by scores of 30-25, 30-24, 30-23 on Saturday, Nov. 8 at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The loss broke a 20-match winning streak over the Wildcats, and was Minnesota's first loss to Northwestern since Oct. 16, 1993.
Northwestern jumped out to a quick 9-5 lead in game one. However, Minnesota answered with a 4-0 run to tie the score at nine. The Wildcats answered with a 5-0 run to take a 14-9 lead. Northwestern moved out to an 18-13 lead, but the Golden Gophers scored four of the next five points to cut it to 19-17. The two teams exchanged points to get the score to 20-18, but Northwestern widened the gap with three straight points to go up 23-18. The Wildcats moved the score to 25-20, but Minnesota scored five of the next seven points to cut the lead to 27-25. Northwestern closed out the game with three straight points to take game one 30-25. The Wildcats outhit the Golden Gophers .194 to .032 in the game. Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) paced the Minnesota attack with four kills.
The beginning of game two started off evenly with five lead changes leading up to a tie at six. Northwestern scored five of the next six points to go up 11-7. Minnesota cut the lead to 14-11, but the Wildcats scored five straight points to go up 19-11. The Golden Gophers scored four of the next six points to cut it to 21-15, but Northwestern answered with five straight points to extend the lead to 26-15. Minnesota ripped off eight of the next 10 points to cut the lead to 28-23. After the two teams exchanged points to make it 29-24, Northwestern put down a kill to take game two 30-24 to go up 2-0 in the match. Northwestern ouhit Minnesota .275 to .118 in game two, and had 18 kills to the Golden Gophers' 11.
Minnesota jumped out to a 9-5 lead in game two, after a 4-0 run that broke a tie at five. However, Northwestern scored seven of the next eight points to go up 12-10. Minnesota cut the lead to 13-12, but the Wildcats scored five straight points to open their lead up to 17-12. Northwestern took a 19-14 lead, but Minnesota scored five of the next six points to cut the lead to 20-19. The Wildcats came back with eight of the next nine points to open the lead back to six points at 28-20. Minnesota scored four of the next five points to cut it to 29- 24, but Northwestern finished off the game at 30-24 to take the match 3-0.
Busse led the Golden Gophers attack with 12 kills, along with two block solos. Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) had nine kills, while Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) had seven. Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara', Brazil) had a match-high 12 digs.
Northwestern outhit Minnesota .233 to .104 on the match. The Wildcats also outblocked the Golden Gophers 11.0 to 7.0.
Northwestern was led by Jill Buschur who had 15 kills. Iwona Lodzik also had 14 kills, while setter Drew Robertson had 42 assists and 11 digs.
Minnesota will return home to face Purdue on Friday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. and Indiana on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.