Iowa vs. Minnesota, In-game updates and analysis… Sets one and two

by Mark Heise

Mark Heise (7:09:40 PM): Minnesota starts off on a 4-0 run thanks to a pair of hitting errors on Iowa. Krista Chin (7:10:10 PM): We are seeing more attack attempts out of the back row from Brook Dieter, one of which resulted in an immediate kill. A huge kill from Lauren Gibbemeyer on the slide. She hit right over the top of Iowa’s block. Mark Heise (7:11:09 PM): Are the back row attacks an attempt to diversify the offense, after Penn State read the attacks so well Saturday? 9-3 Gophers, and the run has forced an Iowa timeout. Krista Chin (7:15:10 PM): Yes, that is an attempt to diversify the offense. It also is a way to add an outlet and/or weapon. We saw a lot of these form Dieter during the Penn State match, and it worked well, so I would definitely look for these in future matches. Mark Heise (7:15:36 PM): Kelly Schmidt with her third kill already this match, Minnesota leads 11-4. She’s hitting confidently tonight Krista Chin (7:16:17 PM): Dieter with two solo blocks in a span of three or four points. Mark Heise (7:18:15 PM): Dieter’s blocking has seemed to improve as the year has gone on, she seemed to struggle with it earlier this year. 17-7 Minnesota on Schmidt’s fifth kill. Krista Chin (7:19:25 PM): Granquist in the back row for Pamela Luiz, after she just put down her third kill of the set. Mark Heise (7:20:36 PM): Gibbemeyer with a pair of blocks, Minnesota leads 20-8 as Iowa takes its second timeout Krista Chin (7:20:45 PM): Vatterrodt is really starting to show some emotion on the court, and she is hitting that heavy ball I was talking about earlier. She and Gibbemeyer are putting up a huge wall for Iowa to try and hit around. Mark Heise (7:22:38 PM): Katie’s swings seemed a little tentative at first, but she’s started hitting a lot harder as the set has progressed. Alex Blatt enters the set with Minnesota up 22-9. Krista Chin (7:23:40 PM): Ashley Suapaia in to serve for Lauren Gibbemeyer. Ace for Suapaia, Minnesota leads 24-10. Mark Heise (7:25:19 PM): Blatt with a tip kill, Minnesota takes the first set 25-11. Here’s Krista with the stats. Krista Chin (7:27:19 PM): Gophers are having a good offensive night so far, hitting at a .355 clip as a team and holding Iowa to a -.056. Senior Kelly Schmidt leads the team with an .833 hitting percentage and 5 kills. Dieter and Pamela Luiz each contributed 2 kills, while Gibbemeyer added 3 kills and 2 blocks. Mark Heise (7:33:00 PM): Minnesota hasn’t cooled off any from the first set, as the Gophers take an early 6-2 lead on three Gibbemeyer kills, forcing another Iowa timeout. Krista Chin (7:34:21 PM): Look for the younger Gophers to step into the match if the team can continue to play at this level. Mark Heise (7:35:16 PM): Dieter collects the tip kill over a double block, but the Hawkeyes are starting to put some shots down in this second set, closing the gap to 7-5. Mark Heise (7:37:57 PM): Schmidt collects her 7th kill to put Minnesota up 13-7. Dieter and Gibbemeyer both have 6 on the night. Krista Chin (7:38:30 PM): Rachel Hartmann is running a balanced offense with three players having six or more kills. Hartmann is distributing the ball well, giving her hitters great location to put the ball down anywhere. Mark Heise (7:39:30 PM): Iowa closes the gap once again, 14-11. Both offenses are thriving right now. Krista Chin (7:40:42 PM): Schmidt has a lot of power behind her kills tonight. She seems to be playing with more confidence and aggressiveness tonight than I have seen all season from her. Granquist replaces Luiz and serves up an ace. Minnesota up 16-11. Mark Heise (7:43:03 PM): Iowa’s Megan Schipper with a cross-court kill, trimming the Gophers lead to five at 18-13. Krista Chin (7:44:25 PM): Iowa is hitting a lot better this set. They seem to be tooling off the block a bit more and creating sharper angles with their shots. The cross-court shot is really working for them right now. Mark Heise (7:44:35 PM): They still haven’t found a way to slow down the Gophers, however. Iowa timeout, Minnesota leading 21-13. Mark Heise (7:47:06 PM): Hailey Cowles with the kill from the back row, and at 23-15, Ariana Filho enters the game. Mark Heise (7:48:28 PM): Luiz blocks the final shot of the set, and Minnesota takes a 2-0 match lead with the 25-17 win. Krista Chin (7:48:45 PM): Minnesota’s offense continues it’s good play, hitting at a .357 clip. Iowa improved it’s hitting, now at .216. Krista Chin (7:51:04 PM): Kelly Schmidt continues to shine for the Gophers as she is hitting .769 with 10 kills. Brook Dieter follows with a close 9 kills and Gibbemeyer with 7. Minnesota is outblocking Iowa 6-1. Hailey Cowles playing well with 12 digs and Chrstine Tan with 10. Gopher fans were given a chance to see Ariana Filho in action, as she ripped a ball cross court. Unfortunately, it was dug up by the Hawkeyes. After two sets, the Gophers have made only four hitting errors compared to 13 for the Hawkeyes. Iowa really needs to step up their offense if they want to have any chance in this match.