Spikers snap road losing streak at five with win

After dropping five-straight Big Ten road matches – including Friday’s sweep at Illinois – Minnesota’s volleyball team finally walked off an opponent’s floor victorious.

The Gophers went the distance to defeat Indiana on Saturday, closing out the Hoosiers in five games (27-30, 32-30, 30-22, 19-30, 15-10).

Freshman Lindsey Vander Well played in place of injured setter Lindsey Berg, collecting 60 assists in her first conference start to help Minnesota (12-8, 6-6 Big Ten) pull out a win versus Indiana.

“The setter touches the ball on every play, and her body language, ability and confidence radiates to the rest of the team,” coach Mike Hebert said. “If there was any question in anyone’s mind, (Vander Well) calmed them down in the first few minutes with terrific plays right off the bat.”

The Gophers also used a 21-10 block advantage to stifle Indiana. Four players tallied five or more blocks.

Minnesota begins a stretch of six-straight home matches on Friday, when the Gophers play host to Michigan.

– David La Vaque, Staff Reporter

Women’s Hockey

Minnesota’s women’s hockey team might have found its number one goaltender. But the offense didn’t produce, and the Gophers could only manage a split in two games over the weekend.

Freshman stopper Brenda Reinen started both games and had 46 saves on 49 shots as the Gophers lost at Niagara 2-1 on Saturday and beat host Mercyhurst 2-1 in overtime on Friday.

Despite facing only 17 shots in Saturday’s game, Minnesota couldn’t muster enough offense to beat the Purple Eagles.

Kelly Stephens scored the lone goal for the Gophers, who equalled Niagara’s shot total in the third period alone but couldn’t find the net.

“It’s sort of ironic because I
actually thought we played better in our second game (against Niagara), but that’s the game we lost,” Minnesota coach Laura Halldorson said.

– Aaron Blake, Staff Reporter

Cross country

Freshman Lisa Dyer led Minnesota’s women’s cross country team to fourth place at the Big Ten championships on the strength of her eighth place finish.

Minnesota fell out of the top three for the first time in five years, but coach Gary Wilson was impressed by his squad’s performance.

“They put it out there and gave it everything they could,” Wilson said. “They ran their butts off, and I’m very proud of them.”

Minnesota’s men’s cross country team finished a disappointing seventh place at the Big Ten meet.

“It was just one of those days,” coach Steve Plasencia said. “We need to have everyone running well on the same day to reach our goals.

Sophomore Andrew Carlson was the Gophers top runner, placing 18th in his first conference meet.

Tennis

Men’s tennis players Harsh Mankad and Thomas Haug advanced to the quarterfinals of the Region IV Men’s Championships in East Lansing, Mich., over the weekend.

Mankad, the No. 3 seed, defeated Henry Beam of Michigan. Haug, the tournament’s defending champion, beat the Wolverines Matt Lockin. The event runs through Monday.

On the women’s side, Valerie Vladea and Michaela Havelkova, advanced to the quarterfinals in doubles at the Region IV Women’s Championships in Madison, Wisc.

 

Swimming and diving

Minnesota’s swimming and diving team won its first dual meet over the weekend, defeating Iowa State 172.5 to 121.5 at the Aquatic Center.