No. 6 Minnesota volleyball continues to roll, sweeps Iowa for fifth straight win

Gophers defeat Hawkeyes for second time this season.

by Henry Hughes

After a back-and-forth first set, the Minnesota volleyball team stormed back to dominate the second and third set.

Fueled by a team hitting percentages of .412 in the second set and .394 in the third, Minnesota increased its win streak to five at Maturi Pavilion on Sunday with a sweep against Iowa.

“I just feel like we did really well just taking it one point at a time,” said sophomore outside hitter Alexis Hart. “Just taking it very slow and taking it one step at a time.”

The third set showed minimal competition from Iowa, with their largest lead coming early when they went up 7-3. The Hawkeyes would only score eight more points the rest of the match, and Minnesota went on to win 25-15, finishing the sweep. 

Senior middle blocker Molly Lohman nearly had a double-double Sunday, finishing with nine kills and nine blocks in the afternoon.

“I think I just really focus on being disciplined,” Lohman said. “I try not to make it big for myself, just taking deep breaths. Every point is big in every game.”

Three Gophers finished with double-digit kills against the Hawkeyes. Freshman opposite Stephanie Samedy had 11, and Hart had 16 to lead the team. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Regan Pittman also landed in double-digits with 10 to go along with a .471 hitting percentage and three blocks.

Pittman also provided the kills that tied the game and put the Gophers ahead 24-23 late in the first set.

“It’s important [to] understand that they’re just points, there is no ‘big points’ or ‘star points,’” said head coach Hugh McCutcheon. “We just have to stay where we need to be, and the ability of the team to stay present matters significantly for us to keep that momentum.”

After two matches at home, Minnesota will return to the road on Wednesday, when it plays Ohio State in Columbus at 7 p.m.