Minnesota Defeats Northwestern in Three Games The 13th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (19-7, 13-3) defeated Northwestern (13-11, 7-9) in three games by scores of 30-24, 30-11, 30-17 on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Sports Pavilion.
Minnesota Defeats Northwestern in Three Games
The 13th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (19-7, 13-3) defeated Northwestern (13-11, 7-9) in three games by scores of 30-24, 30-11, 30-17. With the win and a Wisconsin victory, the Golden Gophers and Badgers remain in a tie for second place at 13-3 heading into this week's match at Madison on Wednesday, Nov. 15.
“I think we played well in all facets of the game tonight,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “In fact, I think in three of our last four matches we played strong in just about every area from start to finish. I also think that in both matches this weekend; we got stronger as the match progressed.”
Minnesota was led by Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) who hit .435 (12-2-23) with 12 kills and five blocks. Senior Meghan Cumpston (Red Bluff, Calif.) also hit .529 (9-0-17) with nine kills, eight digs, three blocks and two service aces.
Senior Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) had a team-high 15 digs to go with four assists and five kills. In the first game, Bowman became the 14th player in school history to record 1,000-career digs.
Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) tallied a career-high five service aces on the night and had six kills. Nelson also unofficially set an NCAA record for consecutive points served with 18 straight points served in the second game. The string of points started after the Golden Gophers got a kill from Nelson to make it 8-4. Nelson proceeded to serve until Northwestern finally got a point to make it 25-5. Nelson’s 18 consecutive points served tied the record held by Courtney Thompson of Washington, who had 18 straight against Gardner Webb on Aug. 26, 2005.
“I thought I was dreaming that whole sequence,” said Nelson. “I kept serving and kept getting good location, and we kept scoring points. It was an amazing sequence. I don’t know how to describe the feeling, because it did not feel real.”
Sophomore Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had 37 assists, nine digs and three blocks, while Malama Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) had 13 digs.
Minnesota limited Northwestern to the lowest opposing hitting percentage of the year at .008. The Wildcats had 28 kills and 27 errors in 121 attempts. Minnesota hit .270 with 45 kills in the match. The Golden Gophers also outblocked the Wildcats 12.0-to-8.0, and had 60 digs to 41 for Northwestern. Minnesota also had double-figure service aces for the second time this year with 10.
The Golden Gophers fell behind 13-11 in game one, but rattled off five straight points to take a 16-13 lead. Northwestern answered with three straight points to tie it at 16. The two teams exchanged the next six points to tie it at 19. Northwestern moved ahead 21-19, but the Golden Gophers answered with four of the next six points to tie it at 23. Cumpston followed with a solo block and a kill to put Minnesota up 25-23. Chelsey Hyser delivered a kill for Northwestern to cut the lead to 25-24, but Cumpston and Bowman delivered kill to make it 27-24.
Cumpston followed with a service ace, and Roehrig followed with back-to-back kills to give Minnesota the first game 30-24. The Golden Gophers finished with 11 of the final 14 points to close out the game.
Minnesota outhit Northwestern .227 to .179, and had 19 kills to 13 for the Wildcats. The Golden Gophers also had three service aces to one. Cumpston and Roehrig finished with six and five kills respectively.
The Golden Gophers fell behind 3-2 in game two, before rattling off four straight points to make it 6-3. The teams exchanged the next two points to make it 7-4. Nelson started her serving run to that point to put the Golden Gophers up 25-4. Overall, Minnesota scored 23 of 24 points against Northwestern. The Golden Gophers ended up winning their most lopsided game of the year 30-11.
Minnesota outhit Northwestern .393 to -.121, and had 12 kills to six for Northwestern. The Golden Gophers also outblocked the Wildcats 6.0-to-1.0, and had five service aces to one for Northwestern. Nelson accounted for all five service aces. Roehrig led Minnesota with four kills.
In the third game, Minnesota jumped out to a slim 5-4 lead, and scored nine of the next 10 points to expand it to 14-5. With the score at 9-5, Nelson put together another impressive run of six straight serves. Overall she served 22 Minnesota points out of 48 points that spanned between games two and three. Minnesota opened up its lead to 26-10 in the third game, before claiming it 30-17.
Courtnie Paulas led Northwestern with six kills and nine digs. Lindsay Anderson also had 16 digs for the Wildcats.
Minnesota will resume action on Wednesday, Nov. 15 when it heads to Madison to face No. 10 Wisconsin at The Golden Gophers will play their final home match of the season when they face Iowa on Saturday, Nov. 18 at
Minnesota will return to action this week when it faces Illinois at home on Friday, Nov. 10 at The Golden Gophers will also face Northwestern on Saturday, Nov. 11 at