Minnesota leads 2-0 at the break

by Mark Heise

Mark Heise: Minnesota picked wins in the first two sets, 25-21 and 25-17 despite being out-blocked by Indiana 6-5. Kind of different for a team that thrives on strong blocking, don’t you think? Krista Chin: Yes, very different for a team that strives on blocking. Coming into this match, Indiana has a few players who are big blockers for them, so it shouldn’t have been something that the Gophers overlooked. They definitely need to do a better job of keying in on Erica Short, as she is having a good match both offensively and defensively. Mark Heise: Short already has 13 kills, (Indiana has 25 as a team). For the Gophers, Lauren Gibbemeyer is having another strong night, collecting 9 kills with a .438 hit percentage, while Pamela Luiz added 5 kills on just 8 swings. Minnesota’s improved hitting percentage in the second set allowed Luiz a chance to rest, as Jessica Granquist and Katie Vatterrodt took over for the second half of the second set. Is it nice to see them get some action, Krista? Krista Chin: It is nice to see them get some action. They are very good players who have are very much capable of helping this team “keep the dream alive.” The Minnesota team is deep, so it is nice to see different players get a chance to show their skills and how they’ve improved throughout the season thus far. Mark Heise: “Keep the dream alive,” of course referring to the team’s slogan “Win all five to keep the dream alive,” which Minnesota is one set away from completing. Any predictions on how this third set will go? Krista Chin:I think we will definitely see Minnesota improve with their blocking. Look for Brook Dieter to come out strong for the Gophers and Erica Short to remain the go-to-hitter for the Hoosiers. We could also see some of the younger players get some action in this third set. Mark Heise: Our Question of the Day comes to us from John from Sauk Rapids, which made me very happy to hear, seeing as Sauk Rapids is ten minutes from my home town. Remember, you can send in a Question of the Day by emailing me, [email protected], subject line Question of the Day.” Krista Chin: Sauk Rapids, huh? I think I would need to invest in a GPS to find my way up there… Mark Heise: Don’t you need a GPS just to find your way out of your own apartment? Krista Chin: Yes, Mark…if I am ever going to a place that is not on campus, I generally do need a GPS. Unfortunately, a poor college kid like me can’t afford one Mark Heise: I’m sure we’re all crying for you on the inside… Anyway Krista, here’s your question! How do you focus on a team like Indiana when you’re gearing up for a match as big as the one against (No. 1) Penn State the next night? Krista Chin: It is always so difficult to focus on a team when you are preparing for Penn State. As mentioned previously, the Gophers cannot overlook Indiana seeing as they did take Purdue to five sets. Typically, the Gophers will have watched video on Indiana Wednesday or Thursday, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they happened to watch a bit of video on Penn State as well. They need to use the Indiana match to their advantage to prepare both physically and mentally for tomorrow’s match against Penn State. They cannot falter against a team like Indiana. The Gophers have been so excited for this weekend as they are hoping to “keep the dream alive.”