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The fifth-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (23-4, 12-3) rallied from a 2-1 deficit to claim a five-game victory over Michigan (17-9, 7-8) by scores of 28-30, 35-33, 19-30, 30-20, 15-12 on Friday, Nov. 12 at Cliff Keen Arena. It marked the fourth time this season that Minnesota has rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win a five-game match, and the ninth straight time the Golden Gophers have done so dating back to 2002.
Minnesota is now 5-2 in five-game matches this season, and 2-1 in those matches in Big Ten play.
Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) paced Minnesota with 27 kills, six digs and three solo blocks. Martin also hit .318 (27-6-66) on the night. Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) had her first double-double of the season with 24 kills and 13 digs. Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) had her seventh triple-double of the year with 11 kills, 31 assists and 10 digs. Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) also had 12 kills and hit .324 (12-1-34) for the match.
Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) had 45 assists, 19 digs and eight kills on the night. Paula Gentil (Forteleza Ceara', Brazil) had 33 digs and three service aces in the match. Gentil finished 72 digs in two matches (eight games) against Michigan this year. Lisa Reinhart (White Bear Lake, Minn.) also had 13 digs on the night.
Minnesota jumped out to a 4-1 lead in game five. Michigan scored the next point to cut it to 4-2, but Martin and Bratford registered consecutive kills to move the Golden Gophers ahead 6-2. Michigan cut it to 6-3, but Minnesota came back with the next two points to move ahead 8-3. Michigan came storming back with four straight points to cut the lead to 8-7. The two teams exchanged the next four points to make it 10-9. Michigan score the next point to tie it at 10. Martin put Minnesota ahead 11-10 with a kill, but Michigan tied at 11. Martin followed with another kill to put the Golden Gophers up 12-11, and the Wolverines had an attack error to give Minnesota a 13-11 lead. Michigan cut it to 13-12, but Martin followed with a kill to push it to game point at 14-12. Bratford followed with a kill to give Minnesota the match at 15-12.
Minnesota jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in game one, but Michigan answered with four of the next five points to cut the lead to 9-6. The Golden Gophers responded with three of the next four points to push lead out to five points at 12-7. Michigan followed up with five of the next seven points to cut the lead to 14-12. Minnesota pushed the lead out to 17-14, but Michigan scored the next three points to tie the game at 17 to force a Golden Gopher timeout.
Bowman put Minnesota ahead 18-17 after the timeout, but Michigan came back with the next two points to its first lead of the game at 19-18. The Wolverines extended the lead to 21-19, before Martin put down a kill to cut it to 21-20 to force Michigan to call timeout. Out of the timeout, Martin delivered a solo-block and a kill to give Minnesota the lead back at 22-21. Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) put down a kill to complete the 4-0 run to give the Golden Gophers a 23- 21 lead. Michigan responded with the next two points to the game at 23. The two teams exchanged points to tie it at 24, before Minnesota came up with consecutive points to take a 26-24 lead. The Wolverines answered with the next two points to tie it again at 26. The two teams exchanged the next four points to tie at 28. Michigan moved it to game point at 29-28 and delivered a service ace to take game one 30-28.
Minnesota had 24 kills to 16 for Michigan in game one, but the Wolverines outhit the Golden Gophers .302 to .258 in the game. Martin led Minnesota with seven kills in the game, while Nelson and Bratford each had five kills.
Michigan scored the first two points of the second game, but Minnesota answered with six of the next seven points to take a 6-3 lead. The Wolverines scored five of the next eight points to cut the lead to 9-8. Minnesota responded with five of the next seven points to take a 14-10 lead. Michigan scored the next two points to cut it to 14-12, but the Golden Gophers rattled off four of the next five points to take an 18-13 lead to force the Wolverines to call a timeout.
The Wolverines came out of the timeout with three straight points to cut the lead to 18-16. Minnesota came right back with three straight points of its own to push the lead to 21-16. Michigan cut the lead to 22-18, but Minnesota scored consecutive points to move ahead 24-18. The Wolverines responded by rattling off the next four points to cut the lead down to 24-22 to force a Golden Gopher timeout. Michigan scored two straight points out of the timeout to tie the game at 24. Martin halted the Wolverines momentum with kill to put Minnesota up 25-24, but Michigan came right back with a point to tie it at 25. Martin followed with a kill and a solo block to give the Golden Gophers at 27-25 lead. Michigan scored three of the next four points to tie at 28.
Bratford put down a kill to give Minnesota game point at 29-28, but Michigan fought it off and scored the next points to force a game point at 30-29. Bowman put down a kill to fight off the game point to tie it at 30. Bratford followed with a kill to give Minnesota its second game point at 31-30. Michigan fought it off again to tie the game at 31. Bratford followed with another kill to push it to game point at 32-31. The Wolverines fought off a third game point. Martin followed with a kill to give Minnesota a fourth game point, but Michigan fought it off a again to tie the game at 33. Martin finally ended the game with back-to-back kills to give the Golden Gophers a 35-33 game-two victory to even the match at one game apiece.
Minnesota outhit Michigan .300 to .217, and had 25 kills to 17 for the Wolverines in game two. Martin and Bratford paced the Golden Gophers with eight and seven kills respectively.
Michigan stormed out to a 13-4 lead in game two, but Minnesota rattled off five straight points to cut the lead to 13-9 to force a Wolverine timeout. Michigan scored seven of the next nine points out of the timeout to push its lead to 20-11 to force Minnesota to take its second timeout of the game. Michigan scored the first point out of the timeout to make it 21-11, but Minnesota answered with five of the next seven points to cut the lead to 23-16. The Wolverines scored four of the next five points to push the lead back out to 10 at 27- 17. Minnesota cut the lead to 27-19, but Michigan close out the game with the final three points to win game three 30-19 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Wolverines limited Minnesota to a .058 hitting percentage in game three, and hit .320. Michigan also had 21 kills to the Golden Gophers' 11.
The two teams started out game four with 10 ties to move to a tie at 10. Minnesota scored the next two points to move out to a 12-10 lead. Michigan cut the lead to 12-11, but the Golden Gophers scored seven of the next 10 points to push their lead out to 19-14. Minnesota rattled off four of the next six points to expand its lead to 23-16. The Golden Gophers pushed it to game point at 29-20 by scoring six of the next nine points. Martin put down a kill to give Minnesota a 30- 20 game-four victory to push the match to a fifth game.
Minnesota had 88 kills to 75 for Michigan and narrowly outhit the Wolverines .236 to .233 on the night. The Golden Gophers were outdug for the only the second time this year 105 to 102. Both teams had 10.0 blocks on the night.
Setter Lisa Gamalski had a triple-double for Michigan with 11 kills, 48 assists and 27 digs. Jennifer Gandolph had 18 kills, 16 digs and four blocks for Michigan, while Katie Bruzdzinski had 16 kills and 17 digs. Libero Stesha Selsky had 30 digs and five assists.
Minnesota will head to East Lansing, Mich. to take on Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. (CT).