The Minnesota volleyball team (21-7, 12-4) won for the seventh time in nine matches as it defeated Wisconsin (11-14, 6-10) in three sets by scores of 25-11, 25-21, 25-22 at the Wisconsin Fieldhouse on Sunday, Nov. 15.
It marked the 12th time in 16 meetings that the Golden Gophers have defeated Wisconsin. During that span, Minnesota has won at the Wisconsin Fieldhouse in five of the eight meetings.
Minnesota was led by Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) who hit .480 (14-2-25) with a team-high 14 kills, a career-high 12 blocks and tied a team-best with six digs. Sophomore middle blocker Ariana Filho (Monument, Colo.) had seven kills, hit .357 (7-2-14) and had four blocks.
Freshman Katherine Harms (Albertville, Minn.) had five kills and four blocks, while Hailey Cowles (Eden Prairie, Minn.) had a career-best five blocks. Cowles, Gibbemeyer, Megan Wilson (Lincoln, Neb.) and Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) all tied with a team-high six digs. Tan also collected two service aces. Senior setter Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) finished with 30 assists, four blocks and three kills.
Minnesota outhit Wisconsin .207 to .026, despite the fact that the Badgers had one more kill (36-to-35). The Golden Gophers tied a season-high with 16.0 blocks as a team, and for the second straight match did not give up a service ace.
The Golden Gophers ran out to a 6-0 lead in the first set after a service ace by Tan. Wisconsin trimmed the lead to 10-3, but Minnesota moved ahead 13-5 on a kill by Filho. After the Badgers cut it to 13-7, the Golden Gophers answered with eight of the next nine points and moved ahead 21-8 when Cowles and Gibbemeyer combined on a block. Minnesota pushed it to 23-9 on a kill by Gibbemeyer, and eventually claimed the set 25-11 on a kill by Filho.
In the set, Minnesota outhit Wisconsin .320 to -.081, and had 11 kills to eight for the Badgers. The Golden Gophers also outblocked wisconsin 7.0-to-0.0 in the set. Gibbemeyer paced Minnesota with six kills and six blocks in the set.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to a 12-9 lead in the second set after Cowles and Filho combined on a block, however Wisconsin answered with three straight points to tie the set at 12. Minnesota pushed it to 15-13 on a kill by Gibbemeyer. With the score at 17-16, the Golden Gophers went on a 4-0 run that featured a Filho kill and three Badger errors.
Harms helped the Golden Gophers finish off the last part of the set by delivering a kill to move the score to 22-18. She continued with a kill that made it set point at 24-20, and then delivered a kill to give Minnesota a 25-21 victory in the second set.
Minnesota outhit Wisconsin .133 to .026 in the set. The Badgers had 14 kills to 10 for the Golden Gophers, but also committed 13 attack errors to six for Minnesota. The Golden Gophers also outblocked Wisconsin 5.0-to-3.0 in the set. Harms and Gibbemeyer each had four kills in the set.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to a 16-10 lead in the third set following a kill by Tabitha Love (Dauphin, Manitoba). Wisconsin answered with five of the next six points to cut the lead to 17-15. After a Badger service error, Tan followed with a service ace and Cowles and Gibbemeyer combined on a block to make it 20-15.
Wisconsin answered with four straight points to make it 20-19. Minnesota led by two points at 23-21, before the Badgers cut the lead to 23-22. Carico responded with a kill to make it match points, and Love finished the match with a kill.
The Badgers were led by Allison Wack who had 11 kills, 10 digs and two blocks. Brittney Dolgner also had 10 kills, while Kim Kuzma finished with nine digs.
Minnesota will be back in action on when it travels to No. 14 Michigan on Friday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. (CT). The Golden Gophers will also face Michigan State on the road on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m .(CT).