Minnesota sweeps again, this time against Maryland

The Gophers ended the first week of Big Ten play with a sweep of Maryland.

Freshman Adanna Rollins spikes a ball during the game on Thursday, Sept. 13 at Maturi Pavilion. Gopher women's volleyball defeated Green Bay in three straight sets.

Tony Saunders

Freshman Adanna Rollins spikes a ball during the game on Thursday, Sept. 13 at Maturi Pavilion. Gopher women’s volleyball defeated Green Bay in three straight sets.

David Mullen

No. 7 Minnesota(8-2, 2-0 Big Ten) finished their first week of Big Ten play sweeping Maryland (10-4, 1-1 Big Ten) in three highly-contested sets at Maturi Pavilion Saturday.

“One of the great things about this league and something that makes it distinctive is teams do fight and do battle and you have to earn it every night,” head coach Hugh McCutcheon said.

The first set it looked as if it was going to go down to the wire as both teams looked evenly matched. Maryland took a quick 4-1 lead, but the Gophers fired back and scored six consecutive points.

The Gophers eventually led 14-12, but the Terrapins went on a hot streak. Maryland converted six of eight points, which put them ahead 18-16. This forced McCutcheon and the Gophers to use a time out.

“I was trying to encourage them to get back to doing what we do,” McCutcheon said. 

After the timeout, the Gophers scored six points of their own, putting them ahead 22-18. The Gophers gave up only one more point as they went on to win the set 25-19, giving them an early 1-0 lead. 

“I love when they come back. That’s when we can prove we work hard and we come together,” redshirt junior Taylor Morgan said.

Freshman Adanna Rollins led  the team with six kills along with seven digs for the Gophers. Sophomore Stephanie Samedy was right behind her with four kills and two digs. 

Early in the second set it looked like the Gophers were going to easily take the set as they were ahead 7-2. 

Opposite hitter Samedy had two electric kills that attributed to the early lead. 

Maryland, however, answered and scored five of the next seven points, trimming the Gophers lead to 9-7.

“One thing we always say is we tend to bring the best out of people,” McCutcheon said. “They wanted to battle and they should.”

The match was contested from there as both teams went back-and-forth exchanging points. The Gophers would leave 18-14 later in the set.

The Gophers would finish the set taking four of the last five points taking consecutive sets 25-19. 

After two sets Rollins led the Gophers with nine kills and 12 digs. Morgan’s presence was known as she went onto have five kills along with three blocks in the set. 

In the final set, the Gophers took an early 8-2 lead over the Terrapins. No matter the deficit, Maryland refused to give up as it cut the Gophers’ lead to three points where the score was 10-7.

The 11th point for the Gophers’ was challenged by Maryland but the call held up. Minnesota went on an eight to two run, to put them them ahead 18-9. Morgan, on the 14th point, had a dominating spike that nearly deflated the ball. 

Minnesota went onto win the third and final set ending the week with two victories, both sweeps.  

Samedy ended the match leading the Gophers’ with 15 points off of 13 kills. Rollins had her second straight double-double with 11 kills and 15 digs. 

“I thought there was really good volleyball here tonight,” McCutcheon said. “Maryland as you can see is a handy team.”

Morgan said she is happy with the win, but is now focusing on Wisconsin.

“Any win in the Big Ten is a good win,” Morgan said. “We take the lessons that we learned from tonight, hold onto the good and just keep moving forward.”