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Gopher Volleyball Closes Non-Conference on Five Match Win Streak

Minnesota followed up their Stanford win with two more wins to close out their non-conference slate.

Jon Johnston

Back in the Pav, Minnesota picked up two wins to close out their non-conference slate as they swept Clemson and Oral Roberts.

Thursday evening Minnesota (6-2) got the sweep over Clemson but it was not easy as Clemson fought hard; 25-22, 25-22, 26-24. The Minnesota block which came to life last weekend for the Oregon and Stanford matches showed it self again as the Gophers out-blocked Clemson 12-7.

Minnesota ran out to 11-3 lead in set one but had to withstand Clemson rallies to clinch the set. A 5-0 Tiger run drew Clemson within one, 21-20. The Gophers then got back-to-back kills from Regan Pittman and another from setter Kylie Miller to get to set point. Clemson was able to save two set points, with a kill and Gopher hitting error, but Pittman put one away to end the set, 25-22.

The lead changed hands several times in set two before the Gophers finally took it for good. Minnesota was down 18-17 when they ran off three points to go in front. A Clemson hitting error got the Gophers to set point which was converted two points later with a Tiger service error.

Clemson mounted a furious rally to try to extend the match but Minnesota regrouped to win the set and match. The Gophers were up 23-17 when Clemson put together a six-point rally to draw the score even at 23. Minnesota finally sidedout with a kill from Alexis Hart to get to match point. Clemson answered with a kill but missed their next serve to give Minnesota another match point. This time Adanna Rollins made good on the transition opportunity clinching the match, 26-24.

Stephanie Samedy led Minnesota with nine kills and 15 digs. Kylie Miller put up 27 assists and 10 digs to earn herself a double-double. Taylor Morgan was the leading blocker with seven.

The Gophers had little trouble dispatching Oral Roberts Saturday evening; 25-15, 25-9, 25-12. The Gophers hit .333 and limited the Golden Eagles to .065. Minnesota also racked up seven aces and was error-less in serve receive.

Minnesota led nearly wire-to-wire in set one. Oral Roberts, after getting down seven, cut Minnesota’s lead to four, 16-12, but the Gophers quickly stopped the run with a block that sparked a 4-0 run.

Minnesota came out on fire in set two and kept piling it on. After two Kylie Miller aces, Minnesota led 5-0. That lead grew to 10, 11-1, and later 17, 22-5 before Oral Roberts was finally able to string some points together.

A 10-point run was the difference in the third set. Minnesota got three kills from Rollins, two from Pittman, one from Samedy, a block from Pittman and Samedy, and an ace as they quickly put the set out of reach. Minnesota hit .500 during the set.

Minnesota was balanced offensively as Samedy, Hart, and Pittman got nine kills each and Morgan and Rollins posted eight each. Pittman hit .563 followed by Hart, .471, Morgan, .467, and Samedy, .300. Samedy was the leading blocker with five. Kylie Miller finished with 31 assists to go with three aces. CC McGraw also served up three aces to go with her 19 digs.

AVCA Poll Week 4

  1. Stanford (28)
  2. Baylor (27)
  3. Nebraska (6)
  4. Pittsburgh (1)
  5. Penn State
  6. Texas
  7. Minnesota
  8. Washington
  9. BYU (2)
  10. Marquette

(first-place votes)

Ranked Big Ten Teams: #3 Nebraska, #5 Penn State, #7 Minnesota, #13 Wisconsin, #15 Purdue, #20 Illinois, RV Michigan, and RV Indiana

Minnesota opens Big Ten play at home this weekend as they’ll host Indiana and Purdue. A full preview of week one of conference play and a rundown of the league will be out later this week.