(Austin, TX) — The No. 4 Minnesota Golden Gophers fell to the No. 1 Texas Longhorns, 21-25, 18-25, 25-23, 22-25 on Wednesday night in Austin.
The Golden Gophers (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) were led by redshirt sophomore outside Taylor Landfair, who had 16 kills, four blocks and six digs. Freshman outside Julia Hanson had a career night, going for a season-best 14 kills. Jenna Wenaas added in 12 kills and seven digs while Melani Shaffmaster had 44 assists and six digs.
As a team, Minnesota hit .248 with 49 kills, six aces, 39 digs and nine blocks. Texas hit ..238 with 52 kills, eight aces, 49 digs and eight blocks.
The Longhorns (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) were led by Logan Eggleston, who tallied a game-high 22 kills. Libero Zoe Fleck led all players with 20 digs.
Service errors were one of the stories of the game for Minnesota, who finished with 19 on the night compared to just eight for UT.
UP NEXT: Minnesota takes on No. 13 Florida (2-1, 0-0 SEC) on Sunday afternoon at Maturi Pavilion.
Set 1: Texas took an early lead in set one, scoring five of the first seven to take a 5-2 lead. The Longhorns would extend their lead to 13-7 before the Gophers would go on a 4-0 run, led by a kill from Julia Hanson and a block by Carter Booth. With the UT lead down to two at 13-11, the home team took its first timeout. The Gophers would get within one at 14-13 and 16-15 after a kill from Wenaas and an ace from Landfair before eventually tying up the match at 18 after a Shaffmaster ace. After tying it up for the first time since 2-2, UT ended the set on a 7-3 run to earn a 25-21 victory. UT hit .333 in the first set, compared to .069 for Minnesota. Landfair and Wenaas led the Gophers with three kills each.
Set 2: Service errors were the story for Minnesota in set two, as the Gophers had four. UT took the lead early in the set once again, but Minnesota stayed close, never trailing by more than two halfway through the set. Three kills and three blocks in the set by Taylor Landfair helped the Gophers to go on a 4-1 run and turn a 12-9 deficit into a tied-up match at 13-all. Texas would score the next two points and take a 15-13 lead into the TV timeout. Two errors by the Gophers coming out of the timeout led to coach McCutcheon calling one himself. A couple kills from Landfair and a block from Wenaas had the Gophers within three at 17-14 and 18-15, but a quick 3-0 spurt from Texas put the home team up six and led to another Minnesota timeout. Minnesota would get it back within five at 22-17 after a kill from Hanson, but would get no closer. UT wrapped up the set with a 4-1 run to win, 25-18.
Set 3: The Gophers battled back to take set three from the Longhorns. They took an early lead and led most of the set before holding off a furious Texas rally to win. After being tied at 5-5, the Gophers went on a 10-5 run to take a 15-10 lead, their largest of the match. Hanson, Wenaas and Landfair all had kills in the run. Minnesota kept its lead between three and five for the next 10 points, going up 20-15 after a pair of kills by Wenaas and one each from Booth and Shaffmaster. UT would go on a 5-1 run to cut the lead to 21-20, but Minnesota refused to let them tie it up. Minnesota led 24-23 before Taylor Landfair delivered the set-sealing kill, her then 10th of the match, to cap the 25-23 set three win.
Set 4: Minnesota led early and often once again in set four. The Gophers took an early 5-3 lead and led by as many as three. Julia Hanson’s 10th kill of the night gave her team a 13-11 advantage over Texas halfway through the set. The Longhorns would score the next four points, however, and take a 15-13 lead into the media timeout. UT would score four of the next six points after the timeout to go up 19-15 and seemingly put the set out of reach. Minnesota responded, however, with two straight points to force a Longhorns timeout. The Gophers would slice the lead to just one at 21-20 after a pair of kills from Hanson. Two more service errors down the stretch ended up costing the Gophers as Texas wrapped up the final set, 25-22, taking home a 3-1 win.
-The Gophers moved to 5-7 all-time against Texas.
-Carter Booth tallied five blocks to lead all Gophers, her third straight match with multiple rejections.
-Taylor Landfair tallied her 20th career 15+ kill match, her third straight time this season with 15+ kills.
-CC McGraw led the ‘U’ in digs with nine.
-The Gophers’ 19 service errors were their most all season. Minnesota had 17 total in its first two matches.
-Freshman Julia Hanson registered 14 kills on .375 hitting for the night, career-best numbers for her in just her third game.
-Melani Shaffmaster tallied 40+ assists for the second time this season and the 22nd time in her career.
(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)