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Volleyball ends season with sweeps over Ohio State and Nebraska

The Gophers defeated the two ranked teams and set new records as they closed out the regular season.
Image by Kamaan Richards
The Gophers won against Nebraska for the first time since 1980.

Nov. 25 vs. Ohio State

Minnesota started the game against Ohio State by scoring five of the first seven points to take an early 5-2 lead. The Buckeyes responded with plays putting them up 14-11, just before Taylor Landfair threw down a kill to tie it back up at 14. Ohio State controlled much of the first set and eventually closed it out with a 25-20 win.

Both teams split the first six points to start set two just before the Buckeyes took a 6-3 lead. Kills from Jenna Wenaas and Carter Booth capped off an 8-1 Gophers run and brought the score to 14-10 for Minnesota. They extended their lead to 23-17 and went on to win set two 25-21.

Much like set two, both teams split the first eight points of the third set and Ohio State took an early lead at 7-5. Kills and a block from Booth and Landfair helped bring Minnesota’s deficit to 12-11. A kill from Mckenna Wucherer gave the Gophers their first lead of the set, and Wenaas closed it out at 25-21, forcing a fourth set.

Minnesota jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the fourth set, but Ohio State fought back with plays to take a 14-12 lead, forcing a Minnesota timeout. Following the timeout, Minnesota went on a 4-0 point run to take a 16-14 lead.

Ohio State tied it up at 18, but kills from Wenaas and Wucherer put the Gophers up 20-18. The game was eventually tied up again at 24, but a Buckeye attack error and Booth kill ended the match in a Minnesota victory of 26-24.

The No. 9 ranked Gophers knocked off the No. 8 ranked Buckeyes. CC McGraw hit 20 digs putting her career total at 1,873 digs, which tops Dalianliz Rosado (1,870) for the No. 3 spot in program history. The No. 2 spot is held by Christine Tan with 1,927 digs.

Nov. 26 vs. Nebraska

After a win in Columbus, Ohio, the Gophers traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, hungry for another victory in their final regular season game.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers came out hot in set one scoring five of the first seven points. They led by as much as 17-10, but Minnesota fought back with Wenaas, Landfair and Arica Davis each throwing down kills to bring the score to 19-14 and then finally bringing their deficit within one point. Minnesota scored the next four points, bringing it to set point, and a Nebraska service error sealed the first set for Minnesota 25-22.

Both teams split the first 14 points of set two before a Cornhuskers kill and Minnesota error put Nebraska up 9-7. The Gophers immediately responded scoring five straight points to take a 12-9 lead. After two straight blocks from Booth, Minnesota took a 23-19 lead and ultimately came out on top 25-23 following another Nebraska service error.

Minnesota started the third set on fire, scoring six of the first eight points. The Cornhuskers were not about to let Minnesota run away and immediately responded by scoring eight of the next nine points to lead 10-7.

Nebraska built on its lead pulling ahead 14-8, but Minnesota was able to tie the match up at 17. A kill from Booth and two Cornhuskers attacking errors put the Gophers ahead 20-17. The Gophers were able to finish the set and match after Wucherer’s kill sealed it for them 25-22.

The No. 9 ranked Gophers swept the No. 5 ranked Huskers for the first time since 1980, and Minnesota finished its season 20-8 and 15-5 in Big Ten play. Taylor Landfair tallied her 26th 10+ kill match of the year, a Big Ten best.

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