The 15th-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (21-6, 11-4) fought off five match points and rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Wisconsin (16-11, 6-9) in five sets by scores of 18-25, 25-18, 25-27, 31-29, 19-17 at the Wisconsin Field House on Friday, Nov. 14.
Minnesota was led by Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) who had 16 kills, nine blocks and two service aces, and Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) who finished with 16 kills, 21 digs and two blocks. Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) also had 10 kills and a season-high seven blocks.
Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) had a team-high 23 digs and a service ace, while Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had 52 digs, a season-high three service aces, nine digs and four blocks.
Minnesota had a season-high eight service aces and only nine service errors, while Wisconsin had four service aces and 16 service errors. The Golden Gophers also outblocked the Badgers 15.0-to-12.0. Wisconsin outhit Minnesota .215 to .162, and had 75 kills to 56 for the Golden Gophers.
In the final three sets, were tied 48 times and exchanged leads on 19 occasions.
Wisconsin led the Golden Gophers 2-1 in the match and had match point at 24-23. However, Minnesota fought off that match point and three others on the way to claiming the fourth set 31-29.
The Badgers jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first set, but Minnesota answered with four straight points to take a 6-4 lead. Dieter delivered a kill and Gibbemeyer followed with a service ace to tie the set at four. Dieter and Schmidt combined on a block to put the Golden Gophers ahead 5-4, and the Badgers followed with an attack error.
Wisconsin scored consecutive points to tie the set at six, but Schmidt answered with a kill to put the Golden Gophers ahead 7-6. Dupont followed with a kill to tie the set at seven. The teams exchanged the next 10 points to move to a tie at 12.
The Golden Gophers moved ahead 13-12 on a Badger service error, and Hartmann delivered a service ace to give Minnesota match point at 14-12. Brittney Dolgner and Caity DuPont delivered consecutive kills to tie it at 14.
Wisconsin followed with an attack error, but the Golden Gophers followed with a service error. The Badgers moved to match point after an attack error by Minnesota, but Roehrig delivered a kill to tie the set at 16. Luiz gave the Golden Gophers their fourth match point at 17-16, but Dolgner delivered a kill to tie it at 17. Gibbemeyer gave Minnesota its fifth match point with a kill to make it 18-17. She followed by combining on a block with Katie Vatterrodt (Bloomington, Minn.) to give the Golden Gophers a five-set victory.
Wisconsin jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set, and held the four-point lead at 9-5. Roehrig delivered a kill, and following a Badger error teamed up on a block with Gibbemeyer to cut the lead to 9-8. The Golden Gophers tied it at 11 on a solo block by Dieter, however Wisconsin took the lead back at 13-12.
Minnesota responded with four straight points, and took a 16-13 lead when Schmidt and Dieter combined on a block. The Golden Gophers led 17-14, but Wisconsin answered by rattling off 11 of the final 12 points to claim the first set 25-18.
The Golden Gophers were outhit .391 to -.083 in the first set. Wisconsin also had 13 kills to seven for Minnesota. Dieter led the Golden Gophers with three kills in the set.
Minnesota jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the second set, and kept the four-point lead at 9-5 after a kill by Gibbemeyer. With the score at 11-7, the Golden Gophers scored four straight points and pushed the lead to 15-7 after Tan pushed the ball over to Wisconsin’s side of the net and Badgers watched in drop for a Minnesota point.
The Badgers responded with eight of the next nine points to cut the Golden Gopher lead to 16-15. Minnesota scored four of the next five points, and went ahead 20-16 after back-to-back kills by Gibbemeyer. The Golden Gophers moved it to 22-18 after a kill by Dieter. After an attack error by the Badgers, Dieter came up with a kill to make it set point. Hartmann riffled a service ace to give Minnesota a 25-18 second-set victory.
In the second set, the Golden Gophers outhit Wisconsin .212 to .133, despite the fact that the Badgers had 13 kills to 12 for Minnesota. Gibbemeyer led the Golden Gophers in the second set with four kills and two blocks.
Minnesota and Wisconsin engaged in a back-and-forth affair in the third set with 13 ties and seven lead changes in the first 29 points. The Golden Gophers led 14-13 after a kill by Dieter, but the Badgers answered with five of the next six points to move out to an 18-15 lead to force a Minnesota timeout.
Wisconsin pushed the lead out to 20-17, before Dieter answered with back-to-back kills. Following a Badger attack error the set was tied at 20. The Badgers moved ahead 21-20, but Hartmann dumped the ball over for a kill to tie it at 21. Wisconsin answered with consecutive points to take a 23-21 lead to force a Minnesota timeout.
The Badgers pushed it to set point at 24-22, but Cowles delivered a kill to make fight off set point. Roehrig and Gibbemeyer combined on a block to tie the set at 24, and Roehrig delivered a kill to make it set point for the Golden Gophers at 25-24. Wisconsin responded with three straight points to close out the set to go up 2-1 in the match.
The Badgers outhit Minnesota .239 to .156 in the set, and had 18 kills to 14 for the Golden Gophers. Wisconsin also outblocked Minnesota 4.0-to-3.0 in the set. Dieter led the Golden Gophers with six kills in the set.
Wisconsin jumped out to a 9-6 lead in the fourth set, but the Golden Gophers responded with a kill by Luiz and back-to-back kills by Roehrig to tie the set at nine. Minnesota took its first lead of the set 10-9 on a service ace by Tan.
The two teams exchanged four lead changes and had eight ties before the score arrived at a tie at 18. Wisconsin scored five of the next seven points to push the out to 23-20. Minnesota tied the set at 23, after the Badgers had a pair of attack errors around a service ace by Gibbemeyer. Wisconsin got a kill by Caty Dupont to make it match point at 24-23, but Schmidt and Hartmann combined on a block to fend it off.
Brittney Dolgner had a kill to give the Badgers a second match point at 25-24, but Dieter came up with a kill to tie it at 25. Dieter gave Minnesota match point with a kill to make it 26-25, but Janelle Gabriellsen delivered a kill to tie it at 26. Wisconsin had back-to-back match points, but the Golden Gophers fought both off and tied the set at 28.
Gibbemeyer delivered another kill to make it set point at 29-28. Dolgner delivered a kill to tie at 29, but Gibbemeyer delivered another kill to give the Golden Gophers set point at 30-29. Hartmann and Gibbemeyer combined on a block to send the match to a fifth set.
Minnesota outhit Wisconsin .178 to .167, despite the fact that the Badgers had 19 kills to 13 for the Golden Gophers. In the set, Minnesota outblocked Wisconsin 5.0-to-2.0
Wisconsin was led by Dolgner who had 27 kills and 16 digs, while DuPont finished with 14 kills, five digs and three blocks. Gabriellsen finished with 10 kills, 39 assists and eight digs. Kim Kuzma finished with a match-high 25 digs.
Minnesota will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 15 when it faces Northwestern at 7 p.m. in Evanston.