The ninth-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (30-4, 17-2) defeated Iowa (8-21, 2-17 3-0 by scores of 30-15, 30-19 and 30-26 on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at the Sports Pavilion. With the win Minnesota ties school records for most victories in Big Ten play at 17, and most overall victories in a season during the NCAA era at 30. Both records tie marks that were set during the 2000 season.
"We started the match playing very crisp," said Minnesota Head Coach Mike Hebert. "As the match went on we deteriorated a little bit. However, it was a real solid effort and a convincing win for our team."
Minnesota jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the match with a dominating 30- 15 victory in game one. The Golden Gophers ran out to a 23-8 lead and never looked back. Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) led the way with six kills in the game. Minnesota outhit Iowa .385 to .025.
In game two the Golden Gophers jumped out to an 8-2 lead, but Iowa cut the score down 11-8. That was as close as the Hawkeyes would get as Minnesota scored 11 of the next 17 points to go up 22-14. The Golden Gophers scored eight of the last 13 points to close the game out at 30-19 and take a 2-0 lead in the match. Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) led the way with eight kills in the game. Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara', Brazil) recorded her 496th dig of the season with the score at 4-1 to break the Minnesota single-season record previously held by Chris Schaefer (1989). Later in the game Gentil became the first player in school history to record 500 digs in a season.
Iowa jumped out to a 7-3 lead in game three, but Minnesota answered with an 8-0 run to go up 11-7. Iowa tied the score late in the game at 22, but the Golden Gophers scored eight of the next 12 points to take the game 30-26, and claim the match. Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) led the way with five kills in the game.
Minnesota was led by Busse who had 14 kills and 12 digs on the night for her seventh double-double of the season. Bratford also had double- figure kills with 11, along with seven digs. Jessica Byrnes (Minnetonka, Calif.) and Martin each finished with nine kills on the evening. Gentil had 11 digs, while Lindsey Vander Well (Prinsburg, Minn.) had 43 assists and 10 digs on the night.
The Golden Gophers hit .246 on the night, while limiting Iowa to .049. Minnesota also outdug the Hawkeyes 60 to 48, and had six service aces to only one for Iowa.
Laura Simpson led the way for Iowa with 10 kills and 12 digs on the match.
Minnesota will finish up the regular season at Penn State on Friday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. The Golden Gophers will then gather at the Sports Pavilion Club Room on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. to await the NCAA selection announcements. Minnesota won the Big Ten's automatic bid when it clinched the conference title on Nov. 22.