The 12th-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (21-8, 12-5) lost in three sets to No. 14 Michigan (24-7, 12-6) by scores of 25-23, 25-14, 27-25 at Cliff Keen Arena on Friday, Nov. 20.
Minnesota was led by Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) who had 10 kills, four blocks and four digs. Sophomore middle blocker Ariana Filho (Monument, Colo.) had a career-high eight blocks and five kills on the night, while Hailey Cowles (Eden Prairie, Minn.) finished with six kills, nine digs, three assists and two service aces.
Jessica Granquist (Blaine, Minn.) finished with a team-high 12 digs, while Megan Wilson (Lincoln, Neb.) had eight digs and four blocks. Senior setter Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) had 27 assists, five kills, four digs and three blocks.
Michigan outhit Minnesota .269 to .168, and had 55 kills to 35 for the Golden Gophers. Minnesota was also outdug 69 to 47 on the night. The Golden Gophers did have 14.0 blocks to eight for Michigan.
In the first set Minnesota raced out to an early 10-4 lead after a kill by Tabitha Love (Dauphin, Manitoba). Michigan cut the lead to 12-10 with six of the next eight points, but Wilson and Gibbemeyer answered with consecutive kills to make it 14-10. The Wolverines answered with four of the next five points to cut the lead to 15-14.
Minnesota moved its lead back out to three points at 19-16 after Filho and Wilson combined on a block. The Golden Gophers pushed it to 20-17 when Love and Filho combined on a block. Michigan scored four of the first five points to tie it at 21. Cowles delivered a kill to put Minnesota ahead 23-22, but Veronica Rood delivered a kill to tie the score at 23. Lexi Zimmerman delivered a kill to give the Wolverines their lead of the set and make it set point at 24-23. Alex Hunt and Karlee Bruck combined on a block to give Michigan the first set 25-23.
Michigan outhit Minnesota .302 to .231 in the set, and had 19 kills to 14. Cowles led the Golden Gophers with four kills and five digs, while Juliana Paz had nine kills for Michigan in the set. Minnesota fell behind 11-7 in the second set, but scored three of the next four points to make it 12-10 on a kill by Love. The Wolverines responded with a 7-0 run to move ahead 19-10. Carico answered with a kill and combined on a block with Filho to make it 19-12. The Golden Gophers made it 21-14 after Wilson and Filho combined on a block.
However, Michigan closed out the set by scoring the final four points to claim it 25-14.The Wolverines outhit the Golden Gophers .306 to .057 in the set, and had 15 kills to eight for Minnesota. Gibbemeyer led Minnesota with three kills in the set.
Minnesota raced out to a 12-7 lead in the third set after Filho and Love combined on a block. The Golden Gophers expanded the lead to 14-8 when Filho and Love again combined on a block. Michigan answered with three straight points to make it 14-11, but Minnesota answered with a 5-0 run and went up 19-11 on a service ace by Granquist.
Michigan came back with eight of the next 10 points to trim the lead to 21-19. Gibbemeyer responded with back-to-back kills to make it 23-19. After a Gopher service error, Gibbemeyer made it set point at 24-20 with a kill. The Wolverines fought off four straight set points to tie it at 24. Carico responded with a solo block to make it set point at 25-24. Rood answered with a kill to fight off a fifth Golden Gopher set point. Paz delivered a kill to make it match point, and Rood finished the match with a kill to give Michigan a three-set victory.
On the night, Michigan was led by Paz who hit .450 (23-5-40) with 23 kills, nine digs and two solo blocks. Bruck hit .714 (10-0-14) with 10 kills and four blocks. Megan Bower finished with six kills and 19 digs, while Sloane Donhoff had 19 digs and a pair of service aces. Setter Lexi Zimmerman also had 48 assists and 10 digs.
Minnesota will be back in action when it travels to Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. (CT). That match was moved back from its original time of 5:30 p.m. (CT) due to the Spartans' football game earlier in the day against Penn State. The Minnesota-Michigan State match will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on the Big Ten Network on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. It can also be heard live on the Gold Zone.