Gophers take down Tommies in three sets
MINNEAPOLIS – The University of Minnesota’s No.11 volleyball team kicked off the Diet Coke Classic with a straight set victory over St. Thomas University, 25-14, 25-8, 25 -7 Thursday evening at the Maturi Pavilion.
“It was great to be able to play at St. Thomas tonight in the first Division I intrastate game in state history,” said the head coach. Hugh mccutcheon noted. “It’s exciting to have several Division I volleyball teams in Minnesota, and while it may take them a while to build their program to this level, I look forward to the next games against them. . “
The Golden Gophers (4-3, 0-0 Big Ten) were led by a second away Jenna wenaas, who totaled 14 kills, a record. Airi Miyabe had eight wins while Nathalie Glenn recorded six and Shea rubright totaled five. Melani shaffmaster had three with 27 assists.
As a team, Minnesota hit a season record of 0.457 with 40 kills, 10 aces, 35 digs and 13 blocks. St. Thomas (1-8, 0-0 Summit) reached -0.054 with 15 kills, 19 digs and two blocks. Fran Egan led the Tommies with seven kills.
Distribution of the set:
Set 1: The Gophers got off to a hot start against their intra-state rivals, advancing 10-2 in the top 12 points, leading to a time out for St. Thomas. After the break, however, the UST scored six of the next eight points to reduce Minnesota’s lead to 13-8. The “U” would respond, scoring eight of the next 12 to take a 20-12 lead. Minnesota would end the set affirmatively, scoring five of the next seven to win 25-14. The Gophers hit 0.367 for the set and got a balanced offense, getting four kills from Wenaas and Miyabe and three each from Rubright and Glenn.
Set 2: Minnesota took a 7-2 lead in the second set after securing two Wenaas wins, one Shaffmaster win and a few away block combos. UST reduced the lead to 7-5 after three straight points, but a kill and three straight aces from Wenaas gave Minnesota a six-point lead, 11-5. His ace streak ultimately ended with a serve error, but the Gophers rebounded with six in a row after that to take an 18-6 lead and force another time out for Tommies. One kill from Glenn and two aces in a row CC McGraw triggered the sequence. The Gophers would score seven of the next nine to win the set, 25-8. The “U” had six aces serving on the set, which is the best of the season for a single set.
Set 3: The ‘U’ got their foot on the gas early in the set and never gave up, taking a 13-1 lead before a Tommies timeout was called in to try to turn things around . UST won two of the next three points before a 6-0 Gophers run put the game out of reach at 20-3. Anna wolf counted his four wins in the third set for the “U”.
-The Gophers had the best of the season .457 while keeping the Tommies at -.054.
–Jenna wenaas totaled 14 kills, his sixth time in seven games this season with double-digit kills. She also added five digs and four blocks.
–Airi Miyabe had eight kills, his fourth game in a row with six or more kills. She also had eight searches.
–Shea rubright made his first start of the year and had five kills (season high) and five blocks (team top).
–CC McGraw led Minnesota with 12 digs.
-First year students Nathalie Glenn and Anna wolf made the first starts of their career as Gophers.
–Anna wolf made his first appearance in a Gophers uniform, totaling four wins and two blocks.
–Stephanie Samedy and Taylor landfair did not play (rest).
Minnesota hosts the State of Iowa as part of the Diet Coke Classic on Saturday, September 18 at 7 p.m. Central time. FOX 9+ and BTN + will provide TV and streaming coverage.