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Gophers Sweep Their Way to Final Four

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Minnesota was in control the whole match as they served their way to the sweep. The Gophers earned their sixth trip to the Final Four and third in the last five years.

Jon Johnston

The Gophers are headed back to the Final Four after sweeping Louisville, 25-21, 25-14, 25-16. The Gophers limited Louisville to .067 hitting as they struggled on the first contact all match long. Every Gopher server recorded an ace as they had nine total. The Minnesota blockers were able key in on hitters to the tune of 12.5 blocks.

Minnesota led the first half of set as Alexis Hart got off to a quick start with four kills. Louisville though made a 5-1 run to go in front 14-13 with four kills. Minnesota answered back with their own 5-1 run as they got a block and two kills in transition. Adanna Rollins got going for Minnesota abusing the Cardinal block, tooling it and hitting high hands getting three kills down the stretch. Louisville did draw back within one late, 22-21, but Minnesota shut the door with an ace and triple block. The Cardinals who had so much success blocking against Texas was ineffective against the quick Gopher offense as Kylie Miller did a good job spreading the ball around.

The Gophers dominated the serve-pass game in set two getting four aces and only failing on two sideout opportunities. Minnesota buried Louisville with an 8-1 run that put them in front 20-11. The Gophers got two aces from Stephanie Samedy right down the sideline and closed the run with back-to-back blocks from Regan Pittman and Kylie Miller.

It was more of the same in set three as the Gophers tried to close out the sweep. Minnesota broke a 12-all tie with a seven-point run as the Gophers capitalized on Cardinal errors adding an ace and three blocks. Minnesota added two more aces before Louisville gifted the Gophers the match with two final hitting errors on the last points of the match.

Rollins led Minnesota with 12 kills, .379 hitting, nine digs and three blocks. Samedy and Hart both posted nine kills; Samedy added seven digs and three aces. Taylor Morgan and Regan Pittman didn’t get many sets but they were a force defensively recording six blocks each. Kylie Miller put up 28 assists to go with two aces, eight digs and four blocks. Rachel Kilkelly was great getting the Gopher offense started in transition as she pulled up 13 digs.

The Final Four will feature rematches. Baylor and Wisconsin advanced and will meet for the second time this season. The Gophers will face either Stanford or Penn State having beat both already this season.