Gophers continue historic Big Ten start on senior night

No. 3 Minnesota extended their winning streak to 16 and remain unbeaten in the Big Ten at 15-0.

Samantha Seliger-Swenson sets the ball during the game against Indiana on Friday, Nov. 9 at Maturi Pavilion.

Image by Jack Rodgers

Samantha Seliger-Swenson sets the ball during the game against Indiana on Friday, Nov. 9 at Maturi Pavilion.

by David Mullen

On senior night at Maturi Pavilion, No. 3 Minnesota (21-2, 15-0 Big Ten) extended its historic Big Ten start as it swept Indiana Saturday night. 

The Gophers continued their historic Big Ten start by dominating Indiana (15-11, 6-9 Big Ten) in three sets: 25-12, 25-17 and 25-22.

A theme of the season so far has been the team’s well-balanced offensive attack which has propelled the Gophers throughout their 16-game winning streak.

“We have a lot of belief in this group, knowing it’s not down to one or two people every night,” head coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “Different nights, different people can have success and tonight a lot of people had success.”

Minnesota dominated the entire night and did not give up a lead until final set. 

They got on a roll early in the opening set. The team took a dominating 10-2 lead after outside hitter Adanna Rollins tallied four kills throughout the run. Setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson was evenly distributing the ball as six players, including herself, registered a kill in the set.

“It makes my job easy just knowing I can go to anybody,” Seliger-Swenson said. 

The Gophers went on to take the opening set 25-12 after four runs by the Gophers where they scored at least four straight points. Indiana had a hitting percentage of -.032. 

The middle set began with the momentum carrying over for the Gophers as they took another early 7-2 lead. Throughout the run middle blocker Taylor Morgan had two kills and a block.

The Gophers carried the momentum throughout the set as they extended their lead to 19-13, and eventually capped it off with a 25-17 second set final. 

In the second set it was Morgan’s turn to shine as she led the team with five kills. The well-balanced offensive machine had six players register a kill within the set.

In the final set the Hoosiers did everything they could to extend the match.

Just like in the first two sets the Gophers started off hot and took a 4-1 lead, however, Indiana answered after it converted four straight points that gave the Hoosier’s a 5-4 lead, their first of the night.

Although the Hoosiers gave it everything they had it was not enough as the Gophers finished the set ahead 25-22.

Indiana finished with a .145 hitting percentage, as the Gophers defense dominated the entire match.

“We digged more than they did, we blocked more than they did, so we can’t complain too much,” McCutcheon said. 

The defense finished with nine players registering digs and four players with blocks. 

Offensively, middle blocker Regan Pittman led the Gophers with 11 kills along with three blocks. Seliger-Swenson racked up 36 assists while distributing the offense on her senior night.

“We have a lot of hot hands that can get hot at the same time and if someone’s struggling I can go to other hitters, so it’s really nice that I can have that confidence in them,” Seliger Swenson said. 

Even though it was Seliger-Swenson’s senior night and Saturday will be her last regular season game at home, she is all business.

“We have a lot of work left to do, and a lot of matches left,” she said. 

The Gophers return home Saturday to take on No. 12 Purdue.