The 12th-ranked Minnesota volleyball program (23-6, 12-4) defeated No. 20 Michigan (22-7, 10-7) 25-16, 20-25, 25-14, 25-20 at the Sports Pavilion on Friday, Nov. 21.
With the win over Michigan, the Golden Gophers stayed in sole possession of second place by one match at 13-4. Minnesota has also defeated every team in the Big Ten, except Penn State, this year with tonight’s win.
“I thought we came out and played with a great deal of precision in the first set,” said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. “We hit a little bit of a lull in the second set. I thought our team showed a great deal of resolve, and played extremely well after losing Brook to injury in the second set. I also thought we did an excellent job of winning the serve and pass game tonight against a good Michigan team.”
With Minnesota trailing 15-11 in the second set, Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) went down with an injury and did not return to the match. After dropping the second set 25-20, the Golden Gophers stepped up in Dieter’s absence by claiming the third set 25-14 and rallying to win the fourth set 25-20.
Senior Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.) led the way for Minnesota as she hit a season-high .583 (16-2-24) with 16 kills and four blocks. Sophomore Hailey Cowles (Eden Prairie, Minn.) played all the way around after Dieter’s injury, and tied a career-high with 10 kills to go with 15 digs and two service aces.
“I thought the team as a whole did a great job of stepping up tonight after Brook’s injury,” said Roehrig. “I know as a senior that we do know get to many more opportunities to play here at home, and I was determined to step up and deliver for my team tonight. I thought everyone did a great job of stepping up and contributing tonight.”
Lauren Gibbemeyer had 12 kills, four blocks and hit .323 (12-2-31) on the night. Senior setter Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.) also had 42 assists, five kills, six digs and four blocks on the night.
Christine Tan (Safety Harbor, Fla.) finished with a match-high 22 digs and two assists, while Jessica Granquist (Blaine, Minn.) had 12 digs, a career-high four assists and a service ace. Senior Kelly Schmidt (Champaign, Ill.) also had six kills and four blocks on the night.
Minnesota outhit Michigan .276 to .149, and had 59 kills to 48 for the Wolverines. The Golden Gophers also outblocked Michigan 10.0-to-8.0 on the night. It was the 26th time in 29 matches that Minnesota outblocked its opponent.
On the night, the Golden Gophers also had 78 digs to 71 for the Wolverines. Both teams finished with five service aces and six service errors for the match.
Minnesota jumped out to a 9-5 lead in the first set after a service ace by Hartmann to force a Michigan timeout. Out of the timeout, the Golden Gophers scored the next three points and moved ahead 12-5 when Roehrig and Schmidt combined on a block. After the Wolverines scored to make it 12-6, Schmidt and Roehrig followed with consecutive kills.
Michigan scored to make it 14-7, but Luiz sandwiched a pair of kills around a Wolverine error to make it 17-7. After Michigan scored three straight points to make it 17-10, Roehrig and Luiz responded by sandwiching kills around a solo block by Gibbemeyer to make it 20-10. The Wolverines scored five of the next seven points to cut it to 22-15.
Hartmann answered with a kill, and Michigan had an attack error to make it set point. After the Wolverines made it 24-16, Dieter delivered a kill to give Minnesota the first set.
The Golden Gophers outhit Michigan .270 to -.027 in the first set, and had 15 kills to eight for the Wolverines. Minnesota also outblocked Michigan 4.0-to-3.0 in the set. Dieter, Luiz, Roehrig and Schmidt all had three kills in the set.
Minnesota jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the second set, but Michigan rattled off four straight points to take a 5-2 lead. The Golden Gophers scored four of the next six points to cut the lead to 7-6, but the Wolverines answered with the next three points to push their lead to four points.
The score moved to 15-11, before Michigan score consecutive points to push its lead to six at 17-11. Michigan scored three of the next five points to move its lead out to a 20-13. The Golden Gophers got a pair of kills from Cowles and Gibbemeyer to go on a 4-0 run to cut the Wolverines’ lead to 20-17.
Michigan moved its lead back out to a five points at 22-17, but Hartmann answered with a kill and Cowles delivered a service ace to make it 22-19. The Wolverines closed out the set with three of the final four points to take the second set 25-20.
In the second set, Michigan outhit Minnesota .317 to .200, and had 15 kills to 14 for the Golden Gophers. Roehrig and Gibbemeyer each had four kills in the second set for Minnesota.
The Golden Gophers ran out to 6-1 lead in the third set after back-to-back kills by Gibbemeyer. Michigan cut the lead to 6-3, but Golden Gophers ran off a 5-0 run due in large part to a kill and a service ace by Luiz to make the score 11-3. The Wolverines cut the lead to 12-5, but Schmidt and Roehrig answered with back-to-back kills to make it 14-5. After Michigan scored to make it 14-6, Schmidt followed with a kill and Cowles delivered a service ace to make it 16-6.
Michigan quickly responded with four straight points to make it 16-10 to force a Minnesota timeout. The Golden Gophers answered with four of the next five points and took a 20-11 lead on a kill by Roehrig. After the Wolverines made it 20-12, Minnesota scored three straight points to take a 23-12 lead. Cowles gave the Golden Gophers set point at 24-13 with a kill. With the score at 24-14, Hartmann delivered a kill to give Minnesota the third set.
The Golden Gophers outhit the Wolverines .368 to .116 in the third set, and had 14 kills to 11 for Michigan. Minnesota did not commit an error in 38 swings in the set, while the Wolverines had six.
Minnesota fell behind 12-8 in the fourth set, Gibbemeyer and Roehrig combined on a block and Granquist delivered a service ace to make it 12-10. Michigan maintained a two-point edge at 15-13, but Schmidt and Hartmann combined on a block and Cowles delivered a kill to tie the set at 15. Schmidt and Roehrig gave Minnesota a 16-15 lead when they combined on a block, and Cowles followed with a solo block of her own to finished off a 4-0 to give the Golden Gophers a two-point lead at 17-15.
The Wolverines cut the lead to 17-16, but Roehrig answered with consecutive kills and Schmidt followed with a kill of her own to make it 20-16. Michigan scored three of the next four points to cut the lead to 21-19, but Gibbemeyer halted the Wolverines’ momentum with a kill.
After Michigan cut it to 22-20, it committed a service error to make it 23-20. Cowles finished out the match with back-to-back kills to give the Golden Gophers the four-set victory.
Michigan was led by Juliana Paz who had 11 kills and 16 digs, while Megan Bower finished with 10 kills and 16 digs. Beth Karpiak had a match-high five blocks and 10 kills. Kerry Hance also finished with a team-high 19 digs.
Minnesota will be back in action against Ohio State in its final home match of the year on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. That match can be seen live on the Gold Zone and can be heard on gophersports.com. Following the Ohio State match, Minnesota will honor seniors Rachel Hartmann, Kyla Roehrig, Kelly Schmidt and Katie Vatterrodt.