The Minnesota volleyball team (16-11, 9-8) won for the fourth time in five matches, as it defeated Michigan State (16-13, 8-9) by scores of 30-23, 24-30, 30-21, 30-18 at the Sports Pavilion on Friday, Nov. 16. Minnesota stayed in sole possession of fourth place in the Big Ten, as Purdue defeated Michigan to move into third place and bump the Wolverines to fifth place.
“I think we are starting to round back into form, and we are starting to change the identity of our team from one that was struggling to win big points to one that is making plays in crucial situations,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “I thought our ball control was good tonight, and Christine (Tan) had an excellent match to help make that happen. We were consistent tonight other then the beginning portion of the second game.”
Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) and Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) were a potent force from the left side for a second straight match for Minnesota. Dieter had her ninth double-double of the season with 18 kills and 10 digs, while Roehrig hit .308 (18-6-39) with 18 kills. Dieter also had a career-high three solo blocks on the night.
Freshman middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) hit .393 (13-2-28) with 13 kills, five blocks and two service aces on the night. Junior setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) had 53 assists, four blocks and three kills for the Golden Gophers. Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) had a match-high 27 digs, while Hailey Cowles (Eden Prairie, Minn.) finished with 15 digs.
Minnesota limited Michigan State to a .120 hitting percentage on the night, and hit .262 for the match. The Golden Gophers also had 63 kills to 60 for the Spartans on the night. Minnesota outblocked Michigan State 13.0-to-12.0, and had double-figure blocks for the 20th time in 27 matches this year. The Golden Gophers outdug Michigan State 71 to 66 for the match as well.
After splitting the first two games, Minnesota jumped out to a 16-10 lead in the third game. Michigan State cut it to 19-15, but Roehrig, Jones and Dieter each had kills to put the Golden Gophers up 22-15. Michigan State made it 22-16, but after a service error and a Kelly Schmidt (Champaign, Ill.) Minnesota took a 24-16 lead.
The Spartans trimmed the lead to 25-20 with four of the next five points, but Dieter and Roehrig had back-to-back kills to give the Golden Gophers a 27-20 lead. Michigan State scored the next points, but Gibbemeyer delivered a kill and Jones followed with a solo block to give Minnesota game point at 29-21. The Golden Gophers claimed the third game after a Spartan attack error to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Minnesota outhit Michigan State .390 to .109 in the third game, despite the fact that the Spartans had 17 kills and the Golden Gophers had 16. Gibbemeyer hit .455 (6-1-11) in the game, while Roehrig had six kills as well.
The Golden Gophers ran out to a 17-11 lead in the fourth game. The Golden Gophers expanded it to eight points at 23-15 after a Roehrig kill. Minnesota expanded that lead to 12 points at 28-16 after a Gibbemeyer service ace. With the score at 28-18, Roehrig delivered a kill to give Minnesota match point at 29-18. The Golden Gophers collected the four-game victory when the Spartan committed an attack error.
Minnesota jumped out to a 10-7 lead in game one, but the Spartans came back with five of the next seven points to cut the lead to 12-11. The Golden Gophers responded with eight of the next 10 points to take a seven-point lead at 20-13. Michigan State cut the lead to 22-18 with five of the next seven points.
Dieter answered with a kill and solo block to move Minnesota out to a 24-18 lead. The Golden Gophers pushed their lead out to a 28-20 after a Dieter kill. Michigan State scored the next three points to cut the lead to 28-23. Minnesota pushed it to game point at 29-23, and Roehrig put the Golden Gophers up 1-0 in the match with a kill to finish the first game.
Minnesota outhit Michigan State .275 to .109, and had 17 kills to 16 for the Spartans. The Golden Gophers also outblocked Michigan State 5.0-to-2.0 in the game. Dieter had five kills and two solo blocks, while Roehrig also finished with five kills in the game.
In the second game, the Spartans scored the first seven points on the way to running out to a 14-1 lead. Minnesota scored the next four points to cut it to 14-5, but Michigan State moved it back out to 16-5. With score at 21-10, the Golden Gophers ripped off four straight points three of which came on Dieter kills, to make it 21-14.
Michigan State scored three of the next four points to take a 24-15 lead. Michigan State kept the nine-point buffer, as it moved to game point at 29-20. The Golden Gophers fought off four game point, but Michigan State finally took game two 30-24.
The Spartans limited Minnesota to a .065 hitting percentage, and hit .262 in the game two. Michigan State also had 16 kills to 13 for the Golden Gophers. Dieter led Minnesota with six kills in the game.
Michigan State was led by Ashley Schatzle who had 16 kills and 17 digs, while Jenilee Rathje had 13 kills and four blocks. Katie Johnson had 13 kills, eight digs and six blocks, but hit -.019 (13-14-52) for the night. Miken Trogdon finished with 15 digs for the Spartans.
Minnesota will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. when it host Northwestern. After the match, there will be a senior-day ceremony for Kelly Roysland and Jessy Jones.