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The fifth-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (24-4, 13-3) defeated Michigan State (11-13, 6-10) by scores of 32-30, 30-20, 30-16 on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Jenison Field House. With the win the Golden Gophers have won 10 of their last 12 matches.
It is also the Golden Gophers' sixth straight win against Michigan State, and the third straight year that Minnesota has won at Jenison Field House.
Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) led the way with 18 kills, and hit .415 (18- 1-41) on the night. Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) hit .542 (15-2-24) and tied a career-high with 15 kills for the match. Trisha Bratford also had 12 kills and hit .321 (12-3-28) on the night.
Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) had five kills, 35 assists and eight digs, while Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) had 10 digs, 15 assists, three service aces and three kills. Paula Gentil (Forteleza Ceara, Brazil) and Marci Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) each had 11 digs and two service aces on the night.
Michigan State jumped out to an early 7-3 lead in game one, but the Golden Gophers scored the next three points to cut it to 7-6. The Spartans came back with the next two points to move the lead out to 9- 6, but Minnesota rattled off the next four points to take its first lead of the night at 10-9. Michigan State responded with six of the next eight points to take a 15-12 lead. The Golden Gophers scored the next point to cut it to 15-13, but the Spartans came back with three straight points to push their lead to 18-13 to force a Minnesota timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Golden Gophers scored four of the next five points to cut the lead to 19-17. Michigan State pushed the lead to 22- 19, but Martin put down a pair of kills and had a solo block to help Minnesota tie the game at 22 to force a Spartan timeout. Out of the timeout, the Golden Gophers scored to take the lead at 23-22. Michigan State tied the score at 23, and the two teams exchanged the next 10 points to push it to a tie at 28. Martin delivered a kill to give Minnesota game point at 29-28, but the Spartans fought it off to tie the game at 29. Nelson put down a kill to move it to game point at 30-29, but Michigan State fought it off again to tie it at 30. Martin followed with a kill and Marci Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) delivered a service ace to give Minnesota the first game 32-30.
Minnesota had 22 kills to 18 for Michigan State in the first game, but the Spartans outhit the Golden Gophers .262 to .255 in the game. Martin and Bratford paced Minnesota with seven kills in the game, while Nelson had six.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to an early 4-3 lead in game two, and expanded the lead to 7-3 on three consecutive Nelson kills to force Michigan State to call a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Golden Gophers scored to make it 8-3. However, Michigan State answered with three of the next four points to cut it to 9-6. Minnesota came right back with four of the next five points to push its lead out to 13-7. The Spartans scored the next point to cut it to 13-8, but the Golden Gophers rattled off four of the next five points to push their lead to 17-9. Michigan State scored the next point to make 17-10, but Martin delivered a kill to force a Spartan timeout.
Out of the timeout, Michigan State scored two points in a row to cut it to 18-12. However, Minnesota scored the next three points to push its lead to 21-12. Michigan State cut the lead to 25-18, but the Golden Gophers answered with three straight points to make it 28-18 on a Martin kill and solo block sandwiched around a Nelson kill. The Spartans scored the next point, but Martin put down a kill to give Minnesota game point at 29-19. After fighting off a game point, Michigan State committed an attack error to give the Golden Gophers game two 30-20.
Minnesota outhit Michigan State .487 to .175 in the second game, and had 21 kills to 13 for the Spartans. Martin paced the Golden Gophers in the game, hitting .500 (7-0-14) with five kills.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to a 7-1 lead in game three to force Michigan State to call a timeout. Minnesota scored the first point out of the timeout to push the lead to 8-1. Nelson had a couple of blocks and a kill during that span, while Taatjes had three service aces. The Spartans scored to make it 8-2, but Minnesota came back with four straight points to take a 12-2 lead. Michigan State cut the lead to 15-7, but the Golden Gophers rattled off four straight points to go up 19-7. The Spartans cut it to 20-9, but Minnesota scored the next three points to push it out to 23-9. From that point, the Golden Gophers moved on to a 30-16 third-game victory to claim the match in three games.
Minnesota outhit Michigan State .519 to .161 in game three.
For the match, the Golden Gophers outhit Michigan State .388 to .204, and had 59 kills to the Spartans 42. Minnesota outdug Michigan State 48 to 42, and outblocked the Spartans 10.0-to-6.0. The Golden Gophers also had a season-high nine service aces.
Kim Schram led the way for Michigan State with 15 kills. Setter Maggie Griffin had 40 assists on the night, while Marley Bellwood had a match-high 12 digs.
Minnesota will return home to the Sports Pavilion to host Purdue on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. The Golden Gophers will also take on Indiana on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.