Gophers split in Tampa

No. 9 Minnesota loses to No. 3 Washington, beats South Florida.

Aleutian Calabay

The No. 9 Minnesota volleyball team had to take the good with the bad as they squared off this weekend in the Tampa Twice Tournament. The bad came on Friday night as the Gophers took a hard loss to No. 3 Washington in three sets by scores of 25-21, 25-19 and 25-23. âÄúAs a staff, we may have over-coached,âÄù head coach Mike Hebert said. âÄúWe knew Washington inside and out, and I think we filled our playersâÄô minds with too much information and we just didnâÄôt play loose.âÄù The good came Saturday evening when Minnesota dominated tournament host South Florida, beating them in straight sets âÄî 25-12, 25-18 and 25-10. Hebert said it was crucial for the Gophers to rebound against a tough South Florida team and play one of their best matches of the season. Senior outside hitter Megan Wilson had a solid tournament. She collected 16 kills and seven blocks, and was named to the All-Tournament team. Junior Brook Dieter also had a strong weekend for the Gophers, leading the team with 23 kills. Senior Christine Tan chipped in with 34 digs. The first set against Washington (8-0) took a bad turn very quickly for the Gophers (7-2) as the Huskies went on an early 6-0 run to take a 7-1 lead. Minnesota was eventually able to close the score to 18-16 after a pair of kills by sophomore Ariana Filho . Then Washington scored six of the next nine points as they went on to win 25-21. Minnesota once again fell behind early in the second set. Down 8-4, the Gophers then outscored the Huskies 6-2, sparked by two kills and a block by junior Lauren Gibbemeyer , to tie the score at 10. The two teams stayed close, with Washington building a small lead at 20-18. Then the Huskies took control, winning five of the last six points for the 25-19 win. Set three started just like the first two, with Washington taking a quick 7-4 lead, but Minnesota was not about to go down quietly. They won three straight points to tie the game at seven. The match remained close, but the Gophers finally grabbed the lead at 15-14. Minnesota upped the lead to two at 18-16, but Washington made its move, winning eight of the next 11 points to take a 24-21 lead. The Gophers fought off a pair of match points, and a Gibbemeyer kill brought the Gophers to within 24-23, but the Huskies put away the match on the next point, winning 25-23. Washington dominated hitting percentage in the match, hitting .239 to the Gophers .144. The Huskies would go on to win the tournament on Saturday as they beat No. 4 Florida in straight sets with scores of 25-17, 25-10 and 25-19. âÄúWashington was tough, theyâÄôre a very confident and authoritative team out there on the court,âÄù Wilson said. Things felt all too familiar for the Gophers on Saturday as they fell behind 6-4 in the first set against South Florida. However, Minnesota would not play from behind for long. After tying the score at 10, the Gophers went on a 9-0 run to take a commanding lead. Gibbemeyer had a pair of kills and Dieter had two aces and a kill during the run. With the score at 21-12, Minnesota would score the next four points for the 25-12 win. For the first time in the tournament, the Gophers jumped to an early lead at 8-6 in the second set. The Bulls tied it at eight, but Minnesota went on a 5-0 run, sparked by three straight kills by Dieter. Minnesota continually pulled away, and a pair of kills by freshman Tabitha Love gave them a 22-13 lead. South Florida made a run by winning five of the next seven points, but Minnesota would eventually close out the set, winning 25-18. The Gophers wasted no time in building a lead in the third set. Three blocks from sophomore Ariana Filho set up Minnesota for the 5-0 lead. Filho would finish with a career-high seven blocks at the end of the night. The Gophers never let the Bulls smell a chance of a comeback as freshman setter Mia Tabberson , Love and Dieter combined for three straight kills to finish off the match 25-10. Tabberson, starting in place of senior Taylor Carico , would finish the night with 26 assists, three kills, two blocks and four digs. âÄúMia filled in very well. We only had three hitting errors in the entire match and a hitting percentage of .450,âÄù said Hebert. âÄúWhen a team hits that well you have to point a finger at the setter and say congratulations.âÄù Minnesota moves on to Denver next weekend for the Pioneer Classic . The Gophers face No. 12 Oregon on Friday at 6:00 p.m. The women play twice Saturday, first against Georgia Tech at 2:00 p.m and then against Denver at 8:30 p.m.