Gophers take down Tigers 3-1, advance to Elite Eight

Minnesota had five players post double-digit kill marks.

Outside hitters Alexis Hart, left, and Sarah Wilhite, right, celebrate a point for the Gophers on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 at the Sports Pavilion during their NCAA Regional semi-final game against Mizzou.

Bridget Bennett

Outside hitters Alexis Hart, left, and Sarah Wilhite, right, celebrate a point for the Gophers on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 at the Sports Pavilion during their NCAA Regional semi-final game against Mizzou.

Tommy Sletten

The No. 2 seed Gophers advanced to the Elite Eight for the second consecutive year with their 3-1 victory over No. 18 Missouri Friday night.

Kill distribution was key for the Gophers, as five players had over ten kills.

“Very happy to be advancing in the tournament, and certainly proud of our performance tonight,” said head coach Hugh McCutcheon.. “Missouri is a heck of a team and they played some wonderful volleyball. I was just impressed that we were able to make adjustments throughout the match to give ourselves a chance to be successful.

While Minnesota saw handy victories in the first, third, and fourth sets, Missouri looked like a dangerous team in the second, a set they won 25-21.

The set included 13 tie scores and six lead changes.

Missouri was led by their star senior Carly Kan, who had 20 kills on the match, a high for either team.

Minnesota saw its peak in the fourth set, where it had a .667 hitting percentage, and won 25-14.

Senior outside hitter Sarah Wilhite led the team with 16
kills, followed by senior middle blockers Paige and Hannah Tapp with 14 each.

Freshman outside hitter Alexis Hart, an Independence, Mo. native,
had a standout game against her home state team, earning 10 kills.

Sophomore setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson earned a
double-double with 52 assists and 10 kills, and can be credited with the wide
kill distribution for the entirety of the match.

“Good first contact really kept us in system, so then
everyone was up and loaded and I had lots of options,” Seliger-Swenson said.