The Minnesota volleyball team (17-11, 10-8) claimed a three-game victory over Northwestern (17-12, 8-10) by scores of 30-25, 30-25, 30-27 at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday, Nov. 17. With the win, the Golden Gophers moved into a tied with Purdue for third place in the Big Ten at 10-8.
With the win, Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert collected his 300th win with the Golden Gophers. It was the second program he has won 300 programs with. Hebert also won 323 matches at Illinois from 1983 to 1995.
Tonight's win was also the Golden Gophers fifth in their last six matches.
“I thought we played at a high level tonight,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “When you look at the numbers it is very impressive that we collected 19 blocks and 72 digs in just three games. I think our players have continued to work hard at ball control and defense and it has steadily improved over the course of the season. I thought we played a solid match all the way around tonight.”
Freshman outside hitter Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) had a match-high 18 kills and also had 10 digs for her 10th double-double of the season. Dieter also had two service aces and three solo blocks for the second night in a row.
Junior outside hitter Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) had 14 kills and five blocks for the Golden Gophers. Senior Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) had eight kills and eight blocks in her final regular-season match at the Sports Pavilion, while senior Kelly Roysland (Fosston, Minn.) collected 14 digs, two assists and one service ace on the night.
Junior setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) finished with 42 assists, seven digs and three blocks. Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) also finished with 21 digs for the match. Junior Kelly Schmidt (Champaign, Ill.) had a career-high seven blocks on the night for the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota outhit Northwestern .161 to .064 on the night, and had 51 kills to the Wildcats 40. The Golden Gophers also had their second-highest block total of the season with 19.0 blocks to 9.5 for Northwestern. Minnesota outdug the Wildcats 72 to 66 in the match.
Northwestern jumped out to a 14-12 lead in game one, but Minnesota responded with a 5-0 run to take a 17-14 lead. After the Wildcats cut it to 17-15, Gibbemeyer and Jones delivered back-to-back kills to give the Golden Gophers a 19-15 lead. Northwestern answered with five of the next six points to tie the game at 20.
Roehrig, Jones and Dieter had consecutive kills to put the Golden Gophers ahead 23-20. The Wildcats cut it to 23-22, but Dieter answered with a kill. Northwestern tied the game again at 25, before committing a service error. Gibbemeyer and Hartmann combined on a block to put Minnesota up 27-25. Dieter sandwiched a pair of service aces around kill by Hartmann to help the Golden Gophers close out the game on a 5-0 run to win 30-25.
Minnesota outhit Northwestern .184 to .071 in the first game, and had 18 kills to 10 for the Wildcats. The Golden Gophers also outblocked Northwestern 4.0-to-2.5. Dieter led Minnesota with seven kills and two service aces in the game.
In the second game, Minnesota ran out to a 15-7 lead. The Golden Gophers followed with six of the next nine points, and pushed their lead to 21-10 on a Kelly Schmidt (Champaign, Ill.) kill. Northwestern battled back with eight of the next 11 points to cut the Golden Gophers lead to 24-18.
Minnesota pushed the lead back out to seven points on a kill by Dieter to make it 28-21. After the Wildcats had scored three straight points, Gibbemeyer and Hartmann combined on a block to make it game point at 29-24. Northwestern fought off the first game point, but Roehrig delivered a kill to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Golden Gophers outhit the Wildcats .182 to .054 in the second game, and had 17 kills to 14 for Northwestern. Minnesota outblocked the Wildcats 6.0-to-3.0 on the game. Roehrig had seven kills in game, while Tan has 10 digs.
Minnesota fell behind 15-13 in game three, but scored three of the next four points to tie the game at 16. Northwestern moved ahead 18-17, before the Golden Gophers scored four of the next five points to go up 21-19. With the score tied at 19, Schmidt and Jones combined on back-to-back block to put Minnesota up by two points.
Northwestern responded with three of the next four points to tie the game at 22. Dieter put the Golden Gophers ahead 23-22, but the Wildcats scored the next two points to reclaim the lead at 25-24. Dieter quickly answered with three straight kills to move Minnesota ahead 26-24. The teams exchanged the next four points to move it to 28-26, before Roehrig had a solo block to make it match point at 29-26. After Northwestern made it 29-27, Roehrig delivered a kill to give Minnesota the three-game victory.
Northwestern was led by Lindsay Anderson who had 11 kills and 15 digs. Setter Elyse Glab had 36 assists, eight digs and three blocks, while Kate Nobilio led the team with 21 digs.
Minnesota will be back in action on Friday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. when it travels to Illinois. The Golden Gophers will wrap up the season when they travel to Wisconsin to face the Badgers on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. Both matches can be heard live on gophersports.com.