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Gopher Volleyball Starts Conference Play 2-0

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Minnesota had stellar offensive and defensive efforts in both matches as they swept IU and Purdue.

Gopher Athletics

No. 7 Minnesota (8-2, 2-0) played an incredible match against IU (11-4, 0-2) and followed it up incredible individual performances as they bested then-No. 15 Purdue (8-3, 0-2). Against the Hoosiers, the Gophers could do no wrong and the Hoosiers could do nothing right as Minnesota won 25-11, 25-10, 25-11. Starting setter Kylie Miller did not play against Purdue but her back-up Bayley McMenimen did not miss a beat as she, Stephanie Samedy, and CC McGraw put up crazy individual numbers in the three-set win over the Boilers; 25-19, 25-21, 25-23.

Indiana Recap

Minnesota crushed the Hoosiers in every statistical category; points 62-26, kills 42-23, hitting .444-.011, aces 5-1, blocks 15-2, assists 39-21, and digs 43-28.

Minnesota cruised in set one as they hit .462. The Gophers went up 10-5 early then went on a longer run on Kylie Miller’s serve as they stretched their six-point lead, to 12, 20-8. Minnesota got two blocks, two kills, and ace after an IU service error gave Minnesota serve.

Set two, Minnesota went up 9-3 after getting nine kills as all five hitters got involved early. Later Minnesota ran off another string of points this time on Regan Pittman’s serve. Pittman got a kill and two aces on a six-point run that put Minnesota in front 17-5. The Gophers hit .516 as they went on to win 25-10.

Like the first two sets Minnesota got an early lead then blew the Hoosiers out with a long run. The Gophers went up 9-3 quickly this time getting three blocks. The run later in the set though was longer. Minnesota was up 14-8 then scored nine a row to put the set out of reach.

Adanna Rollins was error-less to lead the Gopher hitters with 11 kills on 17 swings, .647 hitting percentage. Alexis Hart hit .350 finishing with 10 kills. Taylor Morgan missed out on a double-double after only posting eight kills, .538 hitting, to go with her 11 blocks which put her in an 18-way tie for 10th on the single match total blocks list. Regan Pittman converted six of her eight attempts for kills and had two aces. Stephanie Samedy posted seven kills and six blocks. Kylie Miller put up 32 assists while CC McGraw led the passers with nine digs.

Purdue Recap

The Gophers were without their starting setter Saturday evening but it made little difference as Stephanie Samedy lit up the Boilers to the tune of 21 kills and .288 hitting, three aces, and 11 digs for good measure to get the double-double in the three-set match. Reserve, Bailey McMenimen kept the Gopher offense rolling putting up 45 assists while picking up 12 digs to earn herself a double-double. Minnesota had plenty of opportunities in transition as CC McGraw got up pretty much everything hit towards her as she racked up 24 digs.

Samedy had it going on early as she tallied nearly half her kills, 10, in the opening set. Purdue led 10-8 then Samedy went on a run to pull Minnesota in front. Samedy scored five of the next seven points as Minnesota went up 14-11. Purdue drew within one three times but each time the Gophers sided out. Later a stretch of three of four points ended in Boiler hitting errors as the Gopher lead grew to 21-16.

Minnesota looked to be on their way to blowing out the Boilers in set two, but Purdue made it close late. The Gophers hit nearly .500 through the first part of set as they went up 20-10. Desperate for a spark Shondell turned to his bench. Emma Ellis came on in relief of Maddy Chinn, Jael Johnson for Shavona Cuttino, and Maddie Schermerhorn for Caitlyn Newton in the back row. With the new lineup Purdue finally put some runs together, 4-0 to cut the lead to 21-14, and 5-0 to draw within four, 23-19. The Boilers were finally able to put the ball away and they got help from Gopher miscues. In end the though the margin was too much as Minnesota won by four, 25-21.

After having closed set two strong, The Boilers matched the Gophers blow for blow up til the bitter end as Minnesota won 25-23; there were 12 ties and seven lead changes in the final stanza. Minnesota led 22-20 when Purdue mounted one last run. The Boilers followed up a kill with back-to-back blocks to pull in front 23-20. The Gophers sided out though to draw even. Samedy then dropped in a short serve for an ace to get Minnesota to match point. Without a setter on the floor as McCutcheon had subbed in Ellie Husemann for a bigger block Minnesota got a kill in transition from Regan Pittman to clinch the match, 25-23.

For the Gophers Regan Pittman posted 10 kills and .304 hitting. Alexis Hart also hit over .300 as she recorded nine kills and eight digs. Adanna Rollis finished with 12 digs as the Gopher defense finished with 74.

Grace Cleveland posted a double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs to go with three blocks for Purdue. Emma Ellis was one of only two Boiler hitters to hit over .250 as she got six kills in two sets of action. Hayley Bush put up 31 assists. Jena Otec led the Boiler defense with 20 digs.

Minnesota outhit Purdue .149-.250 and Purdue had the blocking advantage 7-4.

Big Ten Honors

A trio of Gophers were honored by the conference this week. Stephanie Samedy was the conference Player of the Week, CC McGraw the Defensive Player of the Week, and Bayley McMenimen the Setter of the Week.

After only posting seven kills against IU Samedy tripled her production against Boilers tying a season-best 21 kills. Against the Hoosiers, she had a great blocking night and against Purdue, she posted 11 digs for a double-double to go with three aces.

McGraw tallied 33 digs this weekend and was only aced once. The 24 digs against Purdue tied a career high.

Here’s just one clip of how incredible she was against the Boilers.

In her first collegiate start and only appearance of the weekend, McMenimen piloted the Gophers to a .250 hitting percentage recording 45 assists over three sets. She was no slouch defensively tallying 12 digs to earn the first double-double of her career.

Big Ten Standings

Standings Conf. Pct. Overall Pct. Streak Most recent Big Ten Games
Standings Conf. Pct. Overall Pct. Streak Most recent Big Ten Games
Nebraska 2-0 1.000 10-1 0.909 W3 W 3-0 @ NW, W 3-2 @ ILL
Penn State 2-0 1.000 9-2 0.818 W3 W 3-0 vs RUT, W 3-0 vs MSU
Minnesota 2-0 1.000 8-2 0.800 W7 W 3-0 vs PUR, W 3-0 vs IU
Michigan 2-0 1.000 9-3 0.750 W3 W 3-0 vs OSU, W 3-0 @ RUT
Wisconsin 2-0 1.000 6-4 0.600 W2 W 3-1 vs IU, W 3-0 vs PUR
Michigan State 1-1 0.500 10-2 0.833 W1 W 3-0 vs MARY, L 0-3 @ PSU
Ohio State 1-1 0.500 8-6 0.571 L1 L 0-3 @ MICH, W 3-1 @ MARY
Illinois 1-1 0.500 6-5 0.545 W1 W 3-0 vs IOWA, L 2-3 vs NEB
Iowa 1-1 0.500 7-6 0.538 L1 L 0-3 @ ILL, W 3-1 @ NW
Indiana 0-2 0.000 11-4 0.733 L2 L 1-3 @ WIS, L 0-3 @ MN
Purdue 0-2 0.000 8-3 0.727 L2 L 0-3 @ MN, L 0-3 @ WIS
Northwestern 0-2 0.000 9-5 0.643 L2 L 0-3 vs NEB, L 1-3 vs IOWA
Maryland 0-2 0.000 8-6 0.571 L2 L 0-3 @ MSU, L 1-3 vs OSU
Rutgers 0-2 0.000 6-7 0.462 L4 L 0-3 @ PSU, L 0-3 vs MICH
Current as of 9-30-19

AVCA Rankings Week 5

  1. Baylor (54)
  2. Nebraska (7)
  3. Stanford (1)
  4. Pittsburgh (1)
  5. Penn State
  6. Texas
  7. Minnesota
  8. Washington
  9. BYU (1)
  10. Marquette

(first-place votes)

While not a unanimous number one, Baylor is the lone unbeaten team left and number one for the first time in program history. Stanford lost at home to Washington opening the door for Baylor’s ascent. Cal who was the only other unbeaten heading into conference play lost the Cardinal earlier in the week.

Ranked Big Ten Teams: #2 Nebraska, #5 Penn State, #7 Minnesota, #13 Wisconsin, #17 Purdue, #18 Illinois, RV Michigan

Minnesota has a mid-week road match then is back home on Saturday. Wednesday night the Gophers travel to Iowa for a 6:00 CT match on BTN. Saturday at 8:00 CT they’ll host Rutgers which will be available on BTN+.