Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Daily Email Edition

Get MN Daily NEWS delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Published March 1, 2024

Gophers lose Big Ten Opener, sweep defending national champions same weekend

The Gophers volleyball team lost their first conference matchup of the season on the road but defeated Wisconsin at home two days later.
Middle Blocker Regan Pittman hits the ball at the volleyball game against the UW-Madison Badgers at the Maturi Pavilion on Oct 21, 2017.  The Gophers beat the Badgers on Sunday for the first time since 2018.
Image by Ananya Mishra
Middle Blocker Regan Pittman hits the ball at the volleyball game against the UW-Madison Badgers at the Maturi Pavilion on Oct 21, 2017. The Gophers beat the Badgers on Sunday for the first time since 2018.

Sept. 23: vs. No. 11 Purdue

Last Friday, the Gophers traveled to West Lafayette, Indiana for their first Big Ten Conference game of the season. They returned with a loss in three sets to the No. 11 ranked Purdue Boilermakers.

The first set of the game had the two teams splitting the first 12 points. After the Gophers jumped out to an 11-8 lead, Purdue responded with a 7-0 scoring run to take the lead over the Gophers 15-11.

After a pair of blocks from Carter Booth, a Freshman middle blocker for the Gophers, Minnesota came within five points of Purdue at 23-18, but ultimately Purdue would come out on top in the first set with a score of 25-18.

The Boilermakers took an early lead in set two by scoring four of the first six points. Minnesota responded with a 9-2 scoring run, highlighting kills from senior Ellie Husemann and blocks from Booth and junior Melani Shaffmaster. Following a timeout, Purdue was on fire, going on a 10-5 scoring run. Purdue would eventually come out on top with a final set score of 25-23.

Right away, it was clear set three was going to be a battle for both teams as neither was able to come within one point of the other until Purdue jumped out 11-9.

The battle continued as the set quickly evened at 19. A pair of big kills from Gopher Mckenna Wucherer and a Purdue attack error would tie the game at 22. The two teams would go back and forth until a kill from Raven Colvin closed it for Purdue, taking the set, the match and the sweep.

Wucherer stood out among the Gophers as she reached double digits in kills for the third consecutive time to start her collegiate volleyball career. She led the Gophers in kills in the first set (4) and is proving to be a promising addition to the Gophers Volleyball team.

Sept. 25: vs. No. 6 Wisconsin

The Golden Gophers traveled back home to take on their rivals and defending NCAA champion the Wisconsin Badgers.

After early kills from Wucherer, Taylor Landfair, and blocks from Jenna Wenaas and Husemann, Minnesota jumped out to a 4-1 lead in set one. Wisconsin answered, tying the set at 10.
Following a late-set timeout, blocks from Wucherer and Husemann, a Wisconsin service error and an ace from Rachel Kilkelly pulled the Gophers to win the first set, 25-21.

Set two began a little bit more intense with both teams splitting the first eight points. The Gophers quickly gained momentum and used that to their advantage, leading 16-11, causing a Badger timeout and eventually costing them the victory. The Gophers closed out the set at 25-16.

The third set of gameplay was a dog fight to the very end for both teams. After splitting the first 12 points of the game, Minnesota took the first edge leading 9-7. The Badgers responded, causing Minnesota to call a timeout, following a mid-set 5-2 Badger run that put the Badgers ahead 19-15.

The tension was high in the building and after a back and forth rally, Shaffmaster threw down a kill on an overpass to take the set and match for Minnesota in what seemed like a fairytale 29-27 finish.

The last time Minnesota swept Wisconsin was Sept. 26, 2018. The Gophers remain 11-0 in Big Ten home openers at Maturi Pavilion under head coach Hugh McCutcheon and broke a six-game losing streak against Wisconsin.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Accessibility Toolbar

Comments (0)

All The Minnesota Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *