The No. 9 Minnesota Golden Gophers volleyball team defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes in three sets, 25-22, 25-15, 25-11 on Wednesday night at Xtream Arena.
Taylor Landfair led Minnesota with 13 kills and a career-high eight blocks while Naya Gros had six kills and eight blocks. Melani Shaffmaster paced the offense with 29 assists and 10 digs.
As a team, Minnesota (11-6, 6-3 Big Ten) hit .294 with 38 kills, 14 team blocks, 37 digs and six aces. Iowa (7-13, 1-8 Big Ten) hit .054 with 35 kills, three team blocks, 46 digs and one ace.
Audrey Black led Iowa with eight kills.
Set 1: Minnesota started out by scoring five of the first seven points, getting a kill from Ellie Husemann and a pair of blocks by Taylor Landfair early on. Iowa would cut the lead to two at 8-6 before the Gophers went on a 6-2 run, taking a 14-8 lead and forcing a Hawkeyes timeout. Melani Shaffmaster and Mckenna Wucherer had kills in the spurt while Rachel Kilkelly tallied an ace and Naya Gros and Jenna Wenaas registered a block. UI would rally, going on a 7-4 run to cut into the lead and make it 18-15, causing coach McCutcheon to call his first timeout of the set. Minnesota would extend its lead to 22-18 after a pair of kills from Wucherer and one from Landfair, but Iowa rallied to slice it to just one at 23-22. Kills from Landfair and Gros, however, put the set away for a 25-22 Gophers win. Minnesota hit .325 in set one compared to .225 for Iowa. Landfair paced the ‘U’ with six kills while Wucherer had four.
Set 2: Minnesota started fast in set two, scoring six of the first eight before the Hawkeyes called their first timeout. Gros had a kill and a block while Landfair had a kill and an ace in the run. The ‘U’ didn’t slow down after the timeout, scoring five straight to cap off a 8-0 spurt and take a commanding 11-2 lead, causing another UI timeout. A 5-3 advantage out of the timeout gave the Gophers a set-high 11 point lead at 16-5 before three straight from Iowa cut the deficit to 16-8. The Hawkeyes sliced the lead to seven at 17-10 after an ace before Minnesota went back up nine at 19-10 after an ace from Wenaas and a kill from Gros. Iowa would get no closer than nine the rest of the set as the ‘U’ closed out set two, 25-15. Minnesota finished the set on a 5-2 run to seal it.
Set 3: The ‘U’ picked up where it left off in set two, scoring six of the first seven in set three. Two kills from Wenaas, two blocks from Husemann and Landfair and an ace from Kilkelly sparked the spurt. UI scored three straight after the break to make it 6-4, but would get no closer the rest of the set. The Gophers scored 12 of the next 16 to take an 18-8 lead, forcing the Hawkeyes into their final timeout. Shaffmaster and Wenaas tallied aces while Landfair had three kills in the run. The Gophers went up by 12 at 21-9 after a kill and a block from Husemann and two blocks from Landfair. UI scored the next two before the Gophers finished on a 4-0 run to win the set, 25-11, and the match, 3-0. Wenaas ended the set with a block and two consecutive kills.
-Minnesota moved to 84-11 all-time against Iowa, including a 17-0 record under coach McCutcheon. The Gophers have won 50 straight matches against the Hawkeyes, dating back to 1995.
-Taylor Landfair (13) totaled double digit kills for the 17th time this season and 35th time in her career. She’s one of two players in the country to have double digit kills in every match.
-Landfair tallied a career-high eight blocks in the win.
-Naya Gros (8) posted her sixth 5+ block match of the season.
-Ellie Husemann started and tallied five blocks, her sixth five+ block match of 2022.
-CC McGraw (10) led the team in digs for the ninth time this season. She’s up to 1,736 career digs, just two behind Jessica Granquist for fourth all-time at Minnesota.
-The Gophers posted 14 blocks Wednesday night, the 10th time in 17 matches they’ve had 10+.
(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)