In-game updates

Mark Heise

*NOTE:For tonight, we will attempt to give you some more frequent updates on the match… Check back periodically to this same post, as we will update it periodically as the game progresses. Mark Heise (6:13:10 PM): Penn State errs on its first two service attempts, and Hodge has struggled to get the ball past Minnesota’s block very early, Minnesota takes a 5-2 lead Krista Chin (6:14:31 PM): It’s nice to see both sides playing very good defense and using the back row attack more often. The atmosphere in the gym is unbelievable, as the crowd is cheering louder than I have heard for many basketball games. Mark Heise: Minnesota leads 7-6, on another service error. Krista Chin (6:16:50 PM): Penn State with three service errors already in this first set. Minnesota is very good wth their first ball attack coming out of serve receive, so Penn State will need to continue to serve tough putting them at risk for more service errors. Mark Heise (6:18:35 PM): On the other side, Minnesota has seemed to serve well, forcing Penn State to hit out of system. Hailey Cowles on another back row attack, Minnesota now down by one, 10-11. Krista Chin (6:20:32 PM): Minnesota is serving well. Whether Penn State passes well or not, setter Alisha Glass has a number of outlets to go to, especially her big hitters that come out of the “pipe” or middle back position Mark Heise (6:22:26 PM): Big pancake by Pamela Luiz, followed by another save from Lauren Gibbemeyer, and Brook Dieter finally puts the kill away. TV timeout at 13-15. Penn State has struggled against Minnesota’s double block, but the Nittany Lions have put down their shots whenever a single-block opportunity arises. Krista Chin (6:24:47 PM): The Nittany Lions are doing exactly what Minnesota needs to be doing. Every team must take advantage of that single block since there may not be that many opportunities throughout the match. Lots of gritty, scrappy play from the Minnesota side. Both teams are playing with a ton of heart. Kyla Roehrig putting the ball away with a single block, doing exactly what Minnesota needs. Mark Heise (6:25:15 PM): Minnesota takes a timeout at 15-19 Krista Chin (6:25:19 PM): Penn State is really keying in on Minnesota’s go-to hitter in Gibbemeyer, currently holding her to a .000 hitting percentage on six swings. Mark Heise (6:29:53 PM): Minnesota takes the second timeout, down 18-23. Harmotto is again hitting well against the Gophers, with 3 kills and a .400 hit % Krista Chin (6:31:14 PM): Speaking of middle blockers, both middle blockers for the Gophers are being taken out of this match, Gibbemeyer still hitting .000 and Kelly Schmidt hitting -.333 Mark Heise (6:32:13 PM): Minnesota loses the first set, 18-25, as Dieter’s cross-court shot sailed just wide. First game stats to come as we receive them. Mark Heise (6:34:42 PM): In the first set, Minnesota is led in kills by Dieter, with 4, although Dieter is hitting just .071. Pamela Luiz has 2 kills and a .200 hit percentage, while Minnesota as a team is hitting .053. Penn State is hitting .353 after one set, but has four service errors. The Nittany Lions were led by Megan Hodge, with 5 kills Krista Chin (6:35:17 PM): During this second set, Minnesota really seems to continue to serve tough, keying in on Penn State’s Hodge. Christine Tan with a service ace. Mark Heise (6:36:56 PM): Minnesota got off to a quick start once again, taking advantage Tan’s ace, but the game is now tied at 5 following another Penn State service error. Mark Heise (6:39:23 PM): Penn State on a 5-point run and counting… 5-10, and Minnesota will take a time out. Krista Chin (6:39:48 PM): Penn State continues to key on Gibbemeyer as she is now hitting -.125 with a total of eight attempts and most coming from the slide. Mark Heise (6:40:25 PM): The Gophers will need to find someone else to step in and take the big shots, as Gibbemeyer has been the team’s gamer this season. Krista Chin (6:42:00 PM): All three of Minnesota’s pin hitters need to step it up. Both Brook and Kyla seem to be facing a double block, but Luiz is not. She needs to put those sets away and take advantage of the solo block. Mark Heise (6:42:43 PM): A Dieter kill ends the Penn State streak at 7, but Fawcett immediately returns a kill, putting the Gophers down 6-13 in the second. Krista Chin (6:44:05 PM): Hailey Cowles hitting in the front row for Roehrig Mark Heise (6:44:44 PM): And it paid off too, as Cowles collects a pair of kills while in the front row. Minnesota trails 10-16. Krista Chin (6:45:03 PM): Cowles currently hitting at a .750 clip Mark Heise (6:46:48 PM): Minnesota takes its second timeout, trailing 10-19. Coach Hebert said earlier in the week that Minnesota would try to feel out Penn State and adjust during the match. Do these adjustments come now, or after the break? Krista Chin (6:47:47 PM): These adjustments needed to come right away after the first set, but definitely look for the Gophers to make some adjustments after the intermission. Mark Heise (6:47:48 PM): Gibbemeyer with a big solo block, Minnesota now trails 12-20. Krista Chin (6:48:48 PM): Gibbemeyer followed that block with a kill on a quick in front of the setter. It looks as though she may be getting into the match. Cowles with a huge cross court attack for the Gophers. She continues to play the front row for Roehrig. 15-20. Krista Chin (6:50:40 PM): Arielle Wilson hitting very well for the Nittany Lions, leading them with a .714 hitting clip Mark Heise (6:50:46 PM): Cowles has been getting hurt on the block however, as the attacker has hit right over the top of her hands twice now. Will we see Kyla return in the third set? Mark Heise (6:51:01 PM): Minnesota loses set two, 25-15. Krista Chin (6:53:26 PM): I do think we’ll see Roehrig return in the third set. Cowles is hitting well, but her blocking is a liability. Roehrig puts up a large wall for the Gophers, and they need to take advantage of that as much as they can. In the mean time, her hitting needs to come alive as she is currently at a -.250 clip Mark Heise (6:55:48 PM): Cowles is leading the Gophers, collecting 4 kills on 5 swings. Dieter is the only other Minnesota player with a positive hitting percentage, collecting 7 kills and a .211 %. As a team, the Gophers are being out-hit .429-.032, and have been out-blocked so far, 9-2. Minnesota has not been out-blocked in a match yet this season. Last question for Krista before we take our very short break, what does Minnesota need to do to get back in this match, and can they do it? Or does this Penn State team just have too many weapons? Krista Chin (6:58:16 PM): Minnesota is very capable of getting back in this match, but the Gophers need to put the ball away! Hartmann is setting well, but there comes a time when she will need to set other players than just the ones who are on top of their game right now. As a setter, it is hard to do this, but she needs to trust her teammates and believe that they will put the ball away and allow this team to get back in the match. Penn State has a ton of weapons, by far the most the Gophers have seen this season. Wilson is having the match of her life right now, and the Gophers are not doing much to stop her. Look for them to key on her a bit more during this third set. That’s all for this post, we’ll start a new one in 3 minutes when the intermission ends!