The 19th-ranked Minnesota volleyball team (22-10, 15-5) ended the regular season with a three-game victory over Ohio State (11-17, 5- 15) by scores of 30-28, 30-26, 30-27 on Saturday, Nov. 29 at the Sports Pavilion. With the victory Minnesota ties its third-highest Big Ten win total at 15 with a 15-5 Big Ten record on the season.
The Golden Gophers also tied the school record for most Big Ten wins at home with a 9-1 conference record at the Sports Pavilion. With the 15-5 conference record, Minnesota also finished tied for second with Illinois. It marks the third time in four seasons that the Golden Gophers have finished second or higher in the Big Ten.
Minnesota will find what is next as it awaits the NCAA Selection show, which will be shown on ESPNews on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.
Ohio State jumped out to an early 11-10 lead in game one, but Minnesota answered with four straight points to take a 14-11 lead. The Golden Gophers scored seven of the next 11 points to extend that lead to 21-15. Ohio State answered with four of the next six points to cut the lead to 23-19, but Minnesota answered with three straight to go up 26-19. The Golden Gophers went up 28-22, but the Buckeyes rattled off five straight points to cut the lead to 28-27. Minnesota went up 29-27 on a service error, but Ohio State answered right back to cut it to 29-28. Eri n Martin (Ames, Iowa) put down the final kill to give the Golden Gophers game one 30-28. Minnesota outhit the Buckeyes .375 to .312 in the game.
In game two Minnesota jumped out to an early 11-10 lead. The two teams exchanged the next four points to make it 13-12. The Golden Gophers widened the gap with five of the next six points to go up 18- 13. Minnesota moved to a 23-19 lead, but the Buckeyes erased it quickly with a 4-0 run to tie the game at 23 apiece. After the two teams exchanged points to tie it at 24, Cas sie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) put Minnesota up 25-24 with a kill. Jes sica Byrnes (Minnetonka, Minn.) followed with a kill, and Busse put home another to make it 27-24. The Golden Gophers went up 28-24 after an Ohio State attack error, but the Buckeyes score the next two points to make it 28-26. Tri sha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) moved it to game point at 29-26 with a kill, and Lin dsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) finished off the game at 30-26 with a kill of her own. Minnesota tallied five blocks in the game, and outhit the Buckeyes .196 to .125. Busse and Bratford each had five kills in the game.
Minnesota fell behind early in game three 13-10. The Golden Gophers answered back with six of the next nine points to tie it at 16. With score tied at 18, Busse delivered a kill and Ohio State followed with an attack error to give Minnesota a 20-18 lead. After Ohio State narrowed the gap to 22-21, Bratford delivered a kill to make it 23- 21. The Buckeyes followed with an attack error to give the Golden Gophers a 24-21 lead. Ohio State scored the next point to make it 24- 22, but Minnesota capitalized on a Buckeye service error and an attack error to make it 26-22. The Golden Gophers moved it to game point at 29-26. After Ohio State scored to make it 29-27, the senior Busse delivered a kill to end the match in her final regular season match at the Sports Pavilion. Busse led the way in the final game with seven kills for Minnesota.
After the match the Golden Gophers honored the two seniors, Busse and Eri n Lorenzen (Pipestone, Minn.) with a ceremony to recognize them.
Busse registered her ninth double-double of the season with 15 kills, 11 digs, four blocks and two service aces in her final regular season home match at Minnesota. Martin was the only other Golden Gopher in double-figure kills with 10 to go with three block solos. Bratford finished with nine kills, while Byrnes and Mer edith Nelson (St. Croix, Falls, Wis.) each had seven apiece. Pau la Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara', Brazil) had a match-high 21 digs on the night. Taatjes had 41 assist and 11 digs on the night for the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota outhit Ohio State .232 to .181 on the night. The Golden Gophers outblocked the Buckeyes 9.0 to 6.0 in the match.
Stacey Gordon paced Ohio State with 21 kills and 19 digs, while Amanda Miller had 13 kills for the Buckeyes.
The Ohio State-Minnesota match will be on ESPN 2 on a tape-delayed telecast on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. The match against Penn State will telecast on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 3 p.m. on Fox Sports Net North. Minnesota will find out their fate in the NCAA Tournament on the NCAA Selection Show which will be shown on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.