Minnesota volleyball sweeps Idaho State to finish nonconference slate undefeated

Gophers win all three matches Friday and Saturday to capture Boise Tournament.

Henry Hughes

The Gophers survived a scare against Boise State Friday night, winning in five sets.

In the team’s match against Idaho State, it was a different story.

Minnesota overpowered Idaho State (3-10) in a sweep Saturday morning in Boise, Idaho.

“I was really impressed with the way our athletes not only competed, but the way they played this morning,” said head coach Hugh McCutcheon.

The Gophers (11-0) dominated the match as a whole, winning the first set 25-15, the second set 25-14, and finishing the sweep with a 25-11 third set score. 

As a team, Minnesota hit .390 throughout the match, while Idaho State finished with a .087 percentage.

Freshman opposite Stephanie Samedy continued her trend of high kill totals by leading the team with 14, hitting .400 on the day.

“One thing I like to work on is just making sure that I’m breathing throughout everything,” said Samedy. “Just making sure that I’m mentally engaged, focused and just allowing my breath to re-center myself.”

The three-set match took a little over an hour to complete, as the Gophers hit .438 in the final set, with 15 kills and only one error.

McCutcheon said it felt good getting a quick sweep the morning after a five-set match that took around three hours to complete.

“They seemed to have a lot of energy and we executed at a very high level,” said McCutcheon. “That to me is a really nice indicator of the amount of resilience and the amount of commitment these athletes have to our team.”

Sophomore outside hitter Alexis Hart had nine kills, four digs and 11 points, en route to a .500 hitting percentage. 

“I think we were just really composed,” said Hart. “We had a lot of energy, we were all connected as a team, and that really helped us move on from one point to the next.”

As the Gophers move forward into Big Ten Conference play, the vibe surrounding the team is optimistic.

“We’re really happy with the progress of the team over the course of the four weeks we’ve competed,” McCutcheon said.

After not having played at the Maturi Pavilion for two weeks, the team seemed excited to get back on their home court.

“I’m excited, the Pav is great to play in, and it’s Big Ten Conference [play],” Hart said.

With victories over two ranked opponents during the nonconference schedule, the Gophers have ample experience when they play Big Ten teams ranked in the top ten like No. 2 Penn State, No. 5 Wisconsin and No. 10 Nebraska.

“These road trips were important,” said McCutcheon. “I think being able to battle in another gym… and being able to execute in a tough environment only helps us get better.”

Minnesota opens conference play on Friday, Sept. 22 when they play No. 21 Michigan at the Maturi Pavilion at 7 p.m.