Gophers extend winning streak to 11 in Big Ten play

No. 3 Minnesota swept Michigan State on the road Friday.

Regan Pittman serves the ball during the game against the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Image by Ellen Schmidt

Regan Pittman serves the ball during the game against the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday, Oct. 13.

by David Mullen

The Gophers’ dominance shows no sign of letting up.

No. 3 Minnesota (17-2, 11-0 Big Ten) extended its winning streak to 12 games. It marks the Gophers’ 11th straight Big Ten victory as they swept Michigan State (15-9, 3-8 Big Ten) Friday in East Lansing, Michigan.

Although the Gophers did not play their best, they managed to sneak out of East Lansing with a sweep. 

In the opening set of the match, the Spartans and Gophers went back-and-forth until the end. Michigan State began the match by taking the first two points on their way to a quick 5-2 lead over the Gophers. The Gophers did not quit. They fought back and tied the match at 8-8 after two kills by middle blocker Regan Pittman.

Minnesota went on a four-point run and took the lead 10-8, but Michigan State tied it up at 10. The Gophers went on another 5-1 run, extending their lead to 15-11. Michigan State had a four-point run of its own, tying it at 15. The two teams exchanged points for the remainder of the match until the Gophers took it 25-22 after a 5-1 run. Pittman had six kills and was perfect on her attacks in the set. 

In the middle set, the Gophers and Michigan State continued to go back-and-forth. 

Michigan State took an 4-0 lead, which caused the Gophers to use their first timeout of the set. Minnesota responded by scoring two straight points, but the Spartans took control of the match leading the Gophers 10-6. 

After a few point exchanges, the Spartans took a 15-11 lead until opposite hitter Stephanie Samedy caught fire.

Seven of the next 10 points for the Gophers were off Samedy kills. The Gophers eventually took a 21-20 lead over the Spartans. 

Minnesota won the middle set 25-23 against the Spartans, taking a 2-0 lead in the match. Samedy had nine kills throughout the set and led the way for the Gophers’ set victory. 

The Gophers took charge in the final set of the match as they were led by outside hitter Alexis Hart’s six kills in the set. 

Just like the first two sets, it was close at the beginning. This time, the Gophers got to five points first and led 5-4 over the Spartans. 

Michigan State showed its resiliency. The team eventually tied the match at eight, but after that, it was all Minnesota’s set.

The Gophers went on a 10-2 run and made the score 18-10 after four errors by Michigan State along with three aces throughout the run. 

The Gophers took a commanding 20-12 lead and took the final set 25-15 in East Lansing. 

Hart led the Gophers with 12 and was followed by Pittman who had 11 and hit at .667 percent. 

The Gophers will look to extend their winning streak to 12 as they take on No.12 Michigan Saturday in Ann Arbor, Michigan.