seasoThe Indiana Hoosiers defeated the No. 20 Minnesota volleyball team in five games, 15-7, 14-16, 15-12, 1-15, 15-13, in the final match of the regular season for both teams. The Gophers finish the season 25-8, 15-5 in the Big Ten, while Indiana improves to 19-10, 10-10 in the conference.
Stephanie Hagen pounded a career-high 23 kills at a .357 hitting percentage to lead the Minnesota offense. Nicole Branagh added 18 kills, while Charnette Fair had a career-high 14 kills and a team-high eight blocks. Hillary Toivonen had 19 kills to lead the Hoosiers.
Minnesota will find out who and where they will be playing in the 1999 NCAA Tournament Sunday at 9 p.m. The 64-team field, along with the 16 first- and second-round sites, will be announced at that time.
Minnesota scored the first two points of the final game, but Indiana scored the next five points, four on the serve of Kristina Sanderson, to take a 5-2 lead. The Hoosiers increased the lead to 7-3 and 8-4. Minnesota scored seven of the next points, concluded by two kills by Charnette Fair, to take an 11-10 lead. The Hoosiers scored five of the final seven points, the final point scored on a kill by Ryann Connors, to win the game, 15-13.
The Hoosiers started the match strong, scoring seven of the first eight points and eventually extending the lead to 14-3. Minnesota rallied to score the next four points, but an Indiana block closed the first game, 15-7. Erin Heimann served nine of the points for Indiana, including the last seven of the first game. Indiana hit .406 in the first game and had a 10-6 advantage in digs.
Indiana broke out to a 10-1 lead in the second game, but stunted the rally with Linda Shudlick serving four points to cut the Hoosier advantage to 10-5. Indiana earned its first game point of the second game at 14-8, but Minnesota rallied to score the final eight points of the game to win 16-14 and even the match. Indiana had four chances to win the second game, but Minnesota was able to earn sideouts to keep the game alive. Hagen had nine kills, five in the final rally, and hit .615 in the second game.
Minnesota scored the first two points of the third game, but Indiana scored six straight points on the serves of Heinman and Hillary Toivonen to establish a 6-2 lead. Minnesota rallied to tie the game at 6-6, 7-7 and 9-9 before taking a 10-9 lead. The Gophers took a 12-11 lead, but Indiana scored the final four points to win 15-12 and take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Hoosiers hit .317 in the third game, compared to Minnesota's .143 hitting percentage.
The Gophers scored the first eight points of the fourth game, the last six on Lindsey Berg's serve. Minnesota's block was dominant in the run, scoring three of the points on blocks. Indiana scored its only point of the game, and Minnesota ended the game with seven points, six more on Berg's serve. The Gophers limited Indiana to a -.054 hitting percentage in the game, helped by five blocks. Minnesota hit .400 with two errors in the fourth game.