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Gopher Volleyball Bests No. 5 Texas

Minnesota will remain at No. 1 heading into the last week of non-conference play after beating No. 5 Texas Friday night in Austin.

Minnesota(8-0) grinded out a hard-fought win over the No. 5 Longhorns. It took four sets but Minnesota got it done handing Texas their second loss of the season. The Gophers had little trouble getting past Denver and A&M-Corpus Christi in the matches preceding the showdown with Texas; both matches allowed for some substitutes to see more game action.

Texas Recap

The Gophers went into hostile Gregory Gymnasium and came out with a signature four-set win. Each set was closely contested with two requiring extra points. Freshman Stephanie Samedy led the Gophers as she has all along this young season.

The first set was close til the midway point. Minnesota broke a 14-14 tie with a five 5-2 run giving them the largest lead for either team. Regan Pittman started the run with a solo stuff and Alexis Hart added two kills over the stretch. Texas recovered to tie the set back up at 19 but Minnesota put together another run to clinch the set. Molly Lohman kicked it off with a kill and solo block then Stephanie Samedy took it home scoring four kills to give Minnesota the 25-21 win. The Gophers out hit Texas .324-.119.

Minnesota had two set points in the second set but couldn’t hold off Texas as they dropped the set 27-25. Minnesota seemed in control for most the of the second set but couldn’t shake Texas as they kept coming back. Late in the set Texas used a 6-3 run to tie the score at 22-all and apply some extra pressure as the Gophers tried to close out the set. A Texas service error inched Minnesota closer to set point but Lexi Sun and Texas answered with a kill. Sun again kept Texas alive after a Chiaka Ogbogu hitting error gave Minnesota set point. And then for the third time Sun bailed out the Longhorns after Alexis Hart put Minnesota in front 25-24. After Sun tied the set at 25 Texas recorded back-to-back blocks to close out the set.

Again Minnesota got two set points, but they made good on the second winning the third set 26-24.The two teams traded runs and the lead back and forth for much of the set. A three point run put Texas in front 21-20. Minnesota promptly tied it up but wouldn’t take the lead back til four points later with a Stephanie Samedy kill. Texas tied it back up but Jasmyn Martin put away a kill to give the Gophers their first set point Minnesota answered Texas wouldn’t go away though and later retook the lead, 21-20 with a quick three point burst. Sun, the hero from the second set got a kill to prolong the set. This time though it was Minnesota who tightened up at the net, first Martin and Regan Pittman teamed up for a block and then Pittman clinched the set with asolo block on Ogbogu.

The Gophers had an easier time in the fourth set, winning 25-19 as they led wire-to-wire. With the scored tied 8-8 Minnesota rattled off five straight to give themselves and healthy lead. Samedy kicked it off with a kill. Then Molly Lohman and Samantha Seliger-Swenson combined for a block, Dalianliz Rosado dropped in an ace and Alexis Hart put away a kill to cap the run off. Texas only got as close as four the rest of the way.

Stephanie Samedy led Minnesota with 22 kills, hitting .308. Alexis Hart put away 14 kills on .268 hitting. Jasmyn Martin also had a good night tallying 11 kills, hitting .250. Molly Lohman and Regan Pittman both put up six blocks; Lohman also led all servers with three aces. Dalianliz Rosado was great in the back row pulling up 27 digs and Lauren Barnes registered 12. Samantha Seliger-Swenson put up 55 assists.

Texas was led by Lexi Sun’s 19 kills. Fellow outside, Micaya White put down 16 kills.

Minnesota hit .264 as a team and put up 12 blocks. Texas hit .202 and had nine blocks.

Denver Recap

Minnesota started the tournament off with a quick win over the Denver Pioneers. The Gopher offense was rolling from the start hitting .344. Timely runs helped Minnesota in first set. First the Gophers went up 5-0 and later pushed their lead to seven, 14-7 with another five point run. Minnesota had another run, 6-0, before the set was over winning 25-16.

As good as the Gopher offense was in first set they really hit their stride in the second hitting .424 in the 25-19 win. Minnesota was actually down early, 8-6. Molly Lohman sparked a 5-0 run with consecutive kills before teaming with Samedy to stuff Denver on the next point. Minnesota steadily grew lead through the rest of the set.

The final set was littered with hitting errors, Minnesota came on top though, 25-13 due to strong blocking and serving; six blocks and two aces. Samantha Seliger-Swenson served an ace during a 5-0 run to start the set. Minnesota’s lead then ballooned to 11-3. Seliger-Swenson combined with Lohman for a block then Lohman posted a solo stuff as the Gophers went up 15-8. Lohman added an ace before the set was over as the Gophers clinched the match.

Stephanie Samedy led the offense with 10 kills, hitting .292, to with four blocks. Alexis Hart tallied nine kills and the three other hitters all tallied seven a piece. Molly Lohman hit .462 and led at the net with eight blocks. Samantha Seliger-Swenson posted her first double-double of the season with 34 assists and 12 digs. Dalianliz Rosado also posted 12 digs.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Recap

Minnesota had little trouble getting past the Islanders as they swept Corpus Christi. Early in the set the Gophers went up 7-4. The Islanders managed to stay close though for a stretch. Alexis Hart gave Minnesota their first five point lead, 17-12, with a kill. That was the final margin as Minnesota won 25-20.

Corpus Christi played Minnesota close through much of the second set before Minnesota separated themselves, winning 25-19. The Gophers were down 7-5 early before tying it at 8-all and trading points for a stretch. Back-to-back points, a Stephanie Samedy kill and Islander hitting error put Minnesota in front by two, 14-12. Corpus Christi made one last run at Minnesota pulling within one, 15-14, then the Gophers took over; a 5-1 run put Minnesota in front 20-15.

Minnesota’s subs were strong late in the third set helping the Gophers close out the set 25-20. Back-to-back Samedy/Molly Lohman blocks gave Minnesota their first five point lead, 13-8, mid-way through the set. The lead grew to seven, 16-9, after a Lohman kill and Islander ball handling error. The Gophers were never in any really danger the rest of the way they closed the set with Taylor Morgan/Sydney Kleinman block and Kleinman kill.

Samedy led the Gophers with 11 kills, .348 hitting, and four blocks. Alexis Hart added eight kills hitting .292. Molly Lohman had seven kills and one error on 11 attempts, hitting .545. Seliger-Swenson posted another double-double, 34 assists and 11 digs. Dalianliz Rosado pulled up 12 digs. The Gophers hit .297 as a team and tallied 10 blocks. Corpus Christi hit .134 to go with four blocks.