Omaha, Neb. – The University of Minnesota fell in a hard-fought, five set match to Pittsburgh, today in the NCAA Regional Semifinal. Minnesota won the first set, 25-21, fell 23-25 in the second, won the third 25-20, fell in the fourth 21-25 and the fifth, 11-15.
With the loss, the Golden Gophers finished the season 16-3 and went 15-2 in the Big Ten. Pittsburgh advanced to its first-ever NCAA Regional Final and is 19-4 on the season. The Panthers also extended their win streak to 15-straight matches.
The Golden Gophers were led by their senior opposite hitter, Stephanie Samedy. She had 23 kills in 60 attempts, her fifth 20-plus match of the season. Taylor Landfair followed with 15 kills, while Adanna Rollins had 14. Regan Pittman added a match-best 11 blocks, while Rachel Kilkelly had a team-best 16 digs. Melani Shaffmaster added 49 assists and 3 digs. Jenna Wenaas contributed 11.
Minnesota had 16 blocks in the match, while Pitt had 11. Pitt contributed 70 kills, hit .205, had 60 digs and four aces. The Golden Gophers had 59 kills, hit .220, had three aces and 65 digs.
Pittman finished her red-shirt senior season with 502 career blocks. She also accumulated a .356 career hitting percentage and had 902 career kills. She ranks eighth all time in career blocks and tied for third in career hitting percentage. Samedy finished her senior year with 1,485 career kills, which ranks 10th all-time in Gopher history. Samedy has led the Gophers in kills all four years.
Gopher coach Hugh McCutcheon on the outcome:
(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)