Gophers advance to third round of NCAA tournament with win over Northern Iowa

Minnesota defeated the Panthers 3-1 behind Alexis Hart’s 20 kills.

Sophomore outside hitter Alexis Hart hits the ball at Maturi Pavilion during a set against the University of North Dakota on Friday, Dec. 1.

Alex Tuthill-Preus

Sophomore outside hitter Alexis Hart hits the ball at Maturi Pavilion during a set against the University of North Dakota on Friday, Dec. 1.

Owen Mageau

The Gophers defeated the Northern Iowa Panthers (27-8) 3-1 in the second round of the NCAA tournament Saturday night at Maturi Pavilion. The Gophers won the first set 25-18, lost the second 25-20, won the third 25-19 and won the fourth set 25-17.

With the win, Minnesota will face No. 10 USC (24-9) in the third round of the NCAA tournament Friday in Gainesville, Fla. If the Gophers win, they will be one of eight teams remaining in the NCAA tournament.

After taking a 2-1 lead through three highly competitive sets, No. 7 Minnesota (28-5) made it look easy in the fourth set. Minnesota cruised to a 24-13 lead and survived a late Northern Iowa comeback to win 25-17 on a kill by senior Molly Lohman.  

Just like last night, Minnesota got contributions from multiple players. Five Gophers had nine or more kills. Hart led the team with 20. Lohman had seven block assists and one block solo to go along with 11 kills. 

Senior Dalianiz Rosado’s defense was also a key to victory tonight. Her athleticism was on display as she recorded 26 digs.