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The Minnesota volleyball team (26-4, 15-3) defeated Indiana (8-21, 2- 16) in three games by scores of 30-16, 30-12, 30-25 on Senior Night on Saturday, Nov. 20 at the Sports Pavilion. With the win Minnesota has claimed 13 of its last 15 matches.
In game two with the score at 5-3, Paula Gentil (Forteleza Ceara', Brazil) came up with her seventh dig of the match to tie the Big Ten career record at 1,931. Gentil broke the record and now stands at 1,947 digs for her career , after recording 23 on the night against Indiana.
Senior outside hitter Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) led the attack hitting .457 (18-2- 35) with 18 kills on the night. Senior setter Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) finished with 20 assists and 14 digs, while senior Jen Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) had 11 assists, four digs and a season-high three service aces.
Senior Amanda Hokenson (Andover, Minn.) finished with five kills and had two digs, while Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif) hit .333 (6-1-15) with six kills and three blocks. Senior defensive specialist Lisa Reinhart (White Bear Lake, Minn.) also finished with five digs.
With the win, Minnesota moved into a second place tied with Ohio State at 15- 3 in Big Ten play. Penn State holds the lead in the conference at 16- 2. All three teams have two matches to go in Big Ten play. With two more conference wins, the Golden Gophers would match their best Big Ten record in school history.
"I thought we did a really good job of focusing on senior night," said Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert. "Sometimes the emotion of the senior night can affect the quality of play in the match. Our team did not let that happen tonight, but after all this senior class has done and the focus they bring to every match that did not surprise me at all."
The two teams started out evenly in game one and were tied at 11 at one point. From that point, Minnesota scored 11 straight points to take a 22-11 lead. With the scored at 16-11, Martin delivered five straight kills to push the lead out to 21-11. Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) pushed it to 22-11 with a kill, before Indiana ended the run. The Hoosiers cut the lead to 24- 14, but Minnesota finished the game with six of the final eight points to claim it 30-16.
Minnesota did not commit an error in game one, as it hit .550 (22-0- 40) with 22 kills on 40 swings. Martin hit .733 (11-0-15) with 11 kills in the game. The 11 kills was the most by a Golden Gopher in a game this season.
The Golden Gophers jumped out to an early 12-6 lead in game two, and scored 16 of the next 19 points to move the score all the way out to 28-9. Minnesota moved on to win game two by a score of 30-12. The 30-12 score tied the most lopsided single-game victory for Minnesota since rally- scoring began in 2001.
Minnesota had 16 kills to four in the game, and limited Indiana to a - .171 hitting percentage. The Golden Gophers also outblocked the Hoosiers 6.0-to- 1.0.
The Golden Gophers closed out the match with a 30-25 game-three victory. In that game, Martin and Hokenson led the way with five and four kills respectively. Gentil also had 10 digs in the game.
Minnesota limited Indiana to a .071 hitting percentage in the match, and hit .341 on the night. The Golden Gophers had 54 kills to 31 on the night for the Hoosiers. Minnesota also outblocked Indiana 9.0-to-2.0, and outdug the Hoosiers 62 to 50.
Katie Pollom led Indiana with 13 kills on the night. Juli Pierce had 14 digs and 10 assists, while Lindsey Cochrane had 12 digs.
Minnesota will finish up the Big Ten regular-season slate this week with a midweek match at home against Iowa on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m., and a road-match at Illinois on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.