Click Here For Boxscore
The Minnesota volleyball team (27-4, 16-3) won its sixth straight match by defeating Iowa (10-21, 2-17) in three games by scores of 30-20, 30-10, 30-24 at the Sports Pavilion on Wednesday, Nov. 24. With the win the Golden Gophers momentarily take over sole possession of second place of the Big Ten at 16-3, while Ohio State is third at 15-3 and Penn State is in first at 16-2.
Ohio State and Penn State each play at Michigan and Michigan State this week, while Minnesota has one remaining conference match at Illinois on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. With the tonight's win the Golden Gophers moved to its third-best conference win total in school history at 16.
Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) led the way with 15 kills and two solo blocks. Amanda Hokenson (Andover, Minn.) hit a career-high .688 (11-0-16) and had 11 kills in two games. Jessica Byrnes (Minnetonka, Minn.) also had 10 kills and hit .348 (10-2-23) for the night.
Four players had double-figure digs for Minnesota led by Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara', Brazil) who finished with 18 for the match. Lisa Reinhart (White Bear Lake, Minn.) and Marci Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) finished with 14 and 11 digs respectively. Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) had 26 assists, 13 digs and a team-high four blocks for Minnesota.
Minnesota fell behind 14-11 in game one, but the Golden Gophers rallied with nine of the next 11 kills to move ahead 20-16. With the score at 24-19, Minnesota closed out the game with six of the final seven points to take game one 30-20.
The Golden Gophers limited Iowa a -.023 hitting percentage in the game. Martin led the way with six kills, while Byrnes had five kills in seven swings to hit .714 (5-0-7) for the game.
For the second straight match, Minnesota put forth a dominant effort in the second game. The Golden Gophers jumped out to a 25-8 lead in the second game. From that point Hokenson delivered kills on four Minnesota's final points, as the Golden Gophers claimed five of the next seven points to win game two 30-10. The 30-10 victory was the most lopsided win in a Big Ten game by Minnesota since rally-scoring begin in 2001.
Minnesota outhit Iowa .450 to -.079 in the second game, and had 22 kills to four for the Hawkeyes in the second game. Gentil had a season-high for digs in a game with 15, while Martin hit .636 (8-1-11) with eight kills in the game. Hokenson had five kills in five swings to hit 1.000 (5-0-5) for the game.
In game three, Hokenson paced Minnesota with six kills in 11 swings, as she hit .545 (6-0-11). The Golden Gophers had 22 kills to 13 for Iowa, and outhit the Hawkeyes .314 to .220 to move on to the 30-24 game three win to claim the match in the three games. Reinhart also had eight digs from libero position in game three.
Minnesota had 62 kills to 26 for Iowa in the match, and outhit the Hawkeyes .326 to .041. The Golden Gophers also had 74 digs to 51 on the night.
Laura Simpson, Carolyn Giese and Stacy Vitali all had six kills for Iowa in the match. Pam Kavadas led the team with 14 digs, while Jacqueline Huguelot had 12 digs and two blocks. Setter Justeen Patton finished with 22 assists and nine digs.
Minnesota will finish up the Big Ten regular-season slate with a road-match at Illinois on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. That match will be telecast on a tape- delayed basis on Sunday, Nov. 28 at 3 p.m. The NCAA Volleyball Tournament selections will also be shown on Sunday, Nov. 28 at 5:45 p.m. on ESPNNews.