Minnesota sweeps road matches

The Gophers didn’t lose a set in games at Indiana and Purdue.

Middle blocker Hannah Tapp spikes the ball against Penn State in the Sports Pavilion on Nov. 14, 2015.

Image by Joe Sulik, Daily File Photo

Middle blocker Hannah Tapp spikes the ball against Penn State in the Sports Pavilion on Nov. 14, 2015.

by Tommy Sletten

Minnesota had success as it hit the road for the first time in its Big Ten Season.

The Gophers defeated Indiana and No. 14 Purdue in two match sweeps on Friday and Sunday to stay undefeated in the Big Ten through four matches.

“I thought we were clean in all phases of the game,” head coach Hugh McCutcheonsaid. “Sam kept great rhythm. Our hitters hit with good range and discipline. Nice to see our team grow and evolve over the course of this Big Ten season.”

No. 2 Minnesota (12-1, 4-0 Big Ten) won its first match against Indiana (12-5, 1-3 Big Ten) Friday with a clean 3-0 sweep.

The Hoosiers and Gophers started out evenly matched until Minnesota took a 9-6 lead in the first set.

The team wore down Indiana and capitalized on back-to-back Hoosier attack errors to win the set 25-17.

The Gophers continued to dominate offensively in the second set where they hit a match-high .545 and committed only two attack errors on their way to a 25-15 victory.

Indiana clawed back in the third set and tied the score early at 12-12, but Minnesota gained a two-point lead that would give the Gophers an advantage through the set to lead to a 25-17 win and match sweep.

Senior middle blocker Hannah Tapp led all players with 11 kills, while junior middle blocker Molly Lohman had nine and hit an unblemished 1.00 clip.

Junior libero Dalianliz Rosado led Minnesota on the serve with three aces. Sophomore setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson and senior middle blocker Paige Tapp both contributed two.

The Gophers faced a ranked opponent on Sunday when No. 14 Purdue (11-4, 1-3 Big Ten) looked to defend its home court.

The Boilermakers managed to hit at a .406 clip in the first set, but the Gophers bested the home team with a .531 mark of their own to lead Minnesota to a 25-18 victory.

The two teams played a steady back-and-forth through ten points, but Minnesota broke through to take a lasting lead. A Wilhite ace and Hannah Tapp kill ended the set in the Gophers’ favor with another 25-18 score.

Minnesota saw its closest set of the weekend in the third, beating Purdue by a slim 25-23 margin.

The set was close throughout and the Boilermakers threatened a match sweep when they took a 23-22 lead.

Minnesota capitalized off a timeout and two Boilermaker ball handling errors. A final kill from Wilhite sealed the sweep with a third set victory.

Hannah Tapp finished second on the squad with ten kills, followed by freshman outside hitter Alexis Hart with 9.

Minnesota hit .457 for the match to best its .392 mark from the Indiana match and had only six attack errors to Friday’s 13.

Senior outside hitter Sarah Wilhite led all players with 19 kills and hit a solid .621 to lead her team to victory. She also had five digs and a service ace.

“We had really consistent energy, and we were in control of first contact, as well as serving and serve receive,” Wilhite said. “We definitely won both matches in our serve and serve receive.”