Minnesota Defeats No. 10 Wisconsin in Four Games The 12th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (20-7, 14-3) moved into solo possession of second place in the Big Ten by defeating No. 10 Wisconsin (21-6, 13-4) in four games by scores of 30-26, 30-22, 18-30, 30-25 on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the Wisconsin Fi
Minnesota Defeats No. 10 Wisconsin in Four Games
The 12th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (20-7, 14-3) moved into solo possession of second place in the Big Ten by defeating No. 10 Wisconsin (21-6, 13-4) in four games by scores of 30-26, 30-22, 18-30, 30-25 on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the Wisconsin Fieldhouse. With the win, Minnesota has now swept the season series in three of the last five years against Wisconsin, and won eight of the last 10 meetings against the Badgers.
It was also the Wisconsin’s first loss in Big Ten play at home this season.
“We love coming here to Wisconsin,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “It is a great venue, with great fans and we have a lot of respect for their program. It is always a battle when we come here and our kids love the challenge. Tonight, I thought we did a great job of passing well enough to put ourselves in position to succeed offensively.”
Senior Meredith Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) led the way hitting .481 (17-4-27) with 17 kills and seven blocks.
“We have talked to our seniors about really playing their best in the stretch-run for us,” said Hebert. “I think they have done a great job all year, and continue to raise the level of their games as the season progresses. Meredith (Nelson) has been a two-year captain for us and is playing as well as she has in her career for us right now. She really did a great job tonight, and made some big plays to help us get the fourth game to close out the match.”
Junior Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) enjoyed her birthday by hitting .448 (15-2-29) with 15 kills and three blocks for Minnesota. Meghan Cumpston (Red Bluff, Calif.) also had 12 kills and seven digs, while Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) finished with 10 kills, nine digs and three blocks.
Senior Malama Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) had 17 digs, while Christine Tan (Palm Harbor, Fla.) had eight digs and two service aces. Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) also had 46 assists, nine digs and four blocks.
Minnesota outhit Wisconsin .252 to .173 on the night, and had 62 kills to 59 for the Badgers. The Golden Gophers outblocked Wisconsin 14.0-to-4.5 on the night. In two matches this year, Minnesota outblocked the Badgers, who lead the Big Ten in blocks, 28.0-to-9.5.
Wisconsin jumped out to an 8-6 lead in game one, but the Golden Gophers scored the next two points to tie it at 8-8. Minnesota tied the score when Tan made a great dig that floated over all the Wisconsin players and into the back right corner to give the Golden Gophers the point. The teams exchanged the next two points to tie it at nine. Minnesota scored the next two points, with the second point coming on a solo block by Nelson to make it 11-9.
The Badgers scored two of the next three points to trim the Golden Gopher lead to 12-11. The teams exchanged the next two points to make it 13-12. Minnesota ran off three of the next four points to take a three-point lead at 16-13. Wisconsin ran off four straight points to reclaim the lead at 17-16, which forced a Golden Gopher timeout. The Badgers scored the first point out of the timeout to make it 18-16, but Minnesota answered with six straight points to move ahead 22-18.
With the Golden Gophers trailing 18-17, Bowman and Jones combined on a block to tie the game at 18. Tan followed with a service ace to give Minnesota the lead back at 19-18. Jones followed with a kill on an overpass to make, and following another Golden Gopher point came up with another kill to give Minnesota the 22-18 lead. Wisconsin finally stopped the run with a point to make it 22-19. However, the Golden Gophers responded with four straight points to push it out to 26-19.
Cumpston started the run with a kill to make it 23-19. Bowman then sandwiched a pair of kills around another point to close out an extended 10-1 run to give Minnesota a 26-19 lead. Wisconsin answered with five of the next seven points to cut the Golden Gopher lead to 28-24. However, Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) answered with a kill to make it game point at 29-24. Wisconsin fought off a pair of Minnesota game points, before Roehrig finished the game with a kill to give the Golden Gophers a 30-26 game-one victory.
Minnesota outhit Wisconsin .314 to .184 in the first game, and narrowly had more kills then the Badgers 16-to-15. Wisconsin had three more attack errors (8-to-5) and two more service errors then Minnesota (5-to-3) in the game. Nelson and Cumpston each hit .500 with four kills and one error in six attempts.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in game two, but the Badgers responded with a 5-0 run to move ahead 6-4. The teams exchanged the next two points to make it 7-5. Nelson answered by sandwiching a kill and solo block around another Minnesota point to give the Golden Gophers the lead back at 8-7. Wisconsin scored two of the next three points to tie the game at nine. Jones gave Minnesota the lead back with a kill, and Roehrig followed with back-to-back solo blocks to make it 12-9. The Badgers cut the lead to 12-10, but Jones and Cumpston delivered back-to-back kills to make it 14-10. Wisconsin answered with three of the next four points to cut the lead to 15-13.
The two teams exchanged the next four points to make it 17-15. Roehrig followed with a kill and a solo block to make it 19-15 to force a Badger timeout. Out of the timeout, Jones delivered a kill to make it 20-15. . Minnesota rattled off the next three points to open up the lead to 23-15 to force another Wisconsin timeout. The Badgers scored three of the next four points to cut it to 24-18.
Minnesota answered with back-to-back kills by Bowman and Cumpston to give the Golden Gophers a 26-18 lead. Wisconsin scored three of the next four points to cut the lead to 27-21. Cumpston followed with a kill to make it 28-21. Wisconsin cut the lead to 28-22, but Cumpston delivered a kill to make it game point at 29-22. Hartmann and Jones combined on the block to give Minnesota the game and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Golden Gophers outhit Wisconsin .467 to .114 in the second game, and had 19 kills to 13 for the Badgers. Minnesota also outblocked Wisconsin 5.0-to-1.0 in the game. Individually, the Golden Gophers were led by Jones who hit .700 with seven kills in 10 attempts. Cumpston also had six kills for the Golden Gophers, while Roehrig had three solo blocks in the game.
Wisconsin raced out to a 9-4 lead in game three. With the score tied at four, the Badgers rattled off a 5-0 run. Roehrig and Jones had back-to-back kills to make it 9-6. The two teams exchanged the next six points to make it 12-9. Bowman and Nelson combined on a block to make it 12-10. Wisconsin answered with four of the next five points to make it 16-11.
Minnesota answered with three of the next four points to make it 17-14. The Badgers seized control of the game with a 10-1 run to move ahead 27-15. Jones delivered back-to-back kills, followed by a Rachelle Hagerty (Defiance, Ohio) solo block to make it 27-18. Wisconsin answered with three straight points to close out the game at 30-18 to make the match score 2-1.
Wisconsin outhit Minnesota .243 to .049 in the game, and had 14 kills to 12 for the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota jumped out to a 7-2 lead in game four, but Wisconsin answered with 11 of the next 15 points to move ahead 13-11. The Badgers pushed the lead out to 16-13. The two teams exchange points to make it 17-14. Nelson delivered a kill to cut the lead to two points, and cut the Badger lead to one on a bad set by Wisconsin.
The Badgers pushed the lead back out to 19-17, but Jones and Bowman delivered back-to-back kills to tie it at 19. The teams exchanged the next two points to tie the score at 20. Nelson delivered a kill and combined on a block to give Minnesota a two-point lead at 22-20.
Wisconsin cut the lead to 22-21, but Nelson followed with a kill to move the lead back to two at 23-21. The Badgers scored the next two points to tie it at 23. Nelson unleashed three straight kills to give Minnesota the momentum, and a three-point lead at 26-23. Following a Golden Gophers service error, Peniata caught Wisconsin by surprise at the tail end of a rally with a push to the back corner that landed for a kill to make it 27-24. Audra Jeffers delivered a kill for Wisconsin to cut the lead to 27-25. Roehrig and Jones combined on a block to give Minnesota a 28-25 lead.
The Golden Gophers got back-to-back errors by Brittney Dolgner to close out the game 30-25 to win in four games.
Dolgner led the way for Wisconsin with 25 kills and seven digs. Jeffers hit .407 (13-2-27) with 13 kills. Jackie Simpson had 40 assists, seven digs and six kills, while Jocelyn Wack had 20 digs.
Minnesota will play its final home match of the season when the Golden Gophers face Iowa on Saturday, Nov. 18 at That match will be senior day. Kelly Bowman, Meghan Cumpston, Meredith Nelson and Malama Peniata will be honored in a ceremony following that match.