Minnesota Sweeps No. 4 Bears

by Mark Heise

One year following a California sweep of Minnesota, the Gophers returned the favor. Minnesota finished off the No. 4 Golden Bears 25-21, 25-20, 25-23, holding California to a .124 hit percentage, with help from 12 blocks and 45 kills. Minnesota has never beaten a team higher ranked than fourth. Lauren Gibbemeyer led the team with 11 kills and a .450 hit percentage, and contributed 8 blocks, while four other Gophers contributed five kills or more. Christine Tan led Minnesota with 11 digs, while Rachel Hartmann added 10. Here’s Krista with the analysis. Mark Heise: Key point during the match? Krista Chin: It’s tough to pick out one key point during the match as the Gophers have been consistent throughout the match. The blocking has improved ten fold from last season, and the defensive show put on by defensive specialists Hailey Cowles, Jessica Granquist, and libero Christine Tan was outstanding. These girls were fearless in the backcourt keeping as many balls in play as possible. Hana Cutura is one of the toughest hitters in the country, and Tan was getting her nose in there and digging up some dangerous shots. MH: Player or Players of the match? KC: Without a doubt, Lauren Gibbemeyer and Pamela Luiz. Gibbemeyer put up some very strong numbers tonight finishing with 11 kills on .450 hitting and 8 blocks. She was a huge force at the net and made some key plays that gave the Gophers more and more energy. Luiz has been a great grab for the Gophers. She is a solid all-around player who can pass nails and put the ball away. Rachel Hartmann has the utmost confidence in Luiz to set her the ball during a long rally and have her get a kill. Luiz is a stabilizing presence on the court who will continue to be a great asset to the Gopher team. MH: Final thoughts on what you saw on the court tonight? KC: This was an outstanding match played by the Gophers. This match provided a great opportunity for the Gophers to show their style, poise, and confidence to the rest of the country as they held off No. 4 California. Both teams put in a tremendous effort, however, the Gophers were not going to let this match slip away. Head Coach Mike Hebert put it plain and simple, “We have been waiting a year to play this team because of our poor play last year.” They had a disappointing loss to Cal last season, so this match proved to be a one of redemption. Also, congratulations to Kyla Roehrig for recording her 1,000th career kill!