The University of Minnesota volleyball team fell to No. 6 Stanford in the National Semifinal on Thursday, 24-26, 19-25, 25-22, 22-25. The Gophers ended their season with a 29-5 overall record.
As a team, Minnesota had 55 kills, 73 digs and 13.5 blocks. Sarah Wilhite accomplished a double-double in her final match, with 25 kills and 13 digs. Alexis Hart had 11 kills, while Molly Lohman had eight with zero errors, hitting a team best .421. Paige Tapp had seven kills and five blocks, and Hannah Tapp had four kills with four blocks. Katie Schau had 12 digs, and Alyssa Goehner had 14. Dailanliz had a team best 16 digs, while Samantha Seliger-Swenson earned a double-double with 50 assists and 11 digs.
Golden Gopher head coach Hugh McCutcheon says Stanford played well, but his team didn’t quit and he’s proud of the season they turned in:
McCutcheon says the height of Stanford may have bothered the Gophers a bit:
McCutcheon says he is proud of his senior class:
Set 1: Stanford used a .320 hitting clip to win the first set, 26-24. After trading points, Stanford took an 11-8 lead as the Gophers called a timeout. After another point by Stanford, Wilhite responded with a kill. The Gophers came back to tie the set at 13-13 off a Lohman kill. Stanford took a 15-13 lead, but Hart added two kills to tie it back at 15. After Stanford again put it back to a two-point lead, Minnesota added three-straight off a block from Hart, a Wilhite kill and a Stanford attack error, as the Cardinal called a timeout. As the two teams tied at 23, Stanford pushed it to set point off a kill, but Hart pushed it back to a tie at 24. As Stanford pushed it to 25-24, Minnesota used its second timeout. The Cardinal, however, finished off the set after a long rally for a 26-24 first set win.
Set 2: Stanford used six blocks in the second set for a 25-19 win. Minnesota opened the second set with an 8-5 lead. The Cardinal, however, came back and tied the set at 9-9 as the Gopher called a timeout. Stanford later took a 17-13 lead off its 11th block of the match. Stanford took a 20-15 lead before Minnesota earned back-to-back points off a Gopher block and a Stanford attack error as the Cardinal called a timeout. Following the timeout Stanford built a 23-17 lead before a Lohman/P Tapp block put it at 23-18. Stanford finished it off with a kill for a 2-0 lead.
Set 3: Minnesota earned a 25-22 win in the third. Stanford opened the third set with a 9-6 lead as the Gophers called a timeout. Minnesota came out of the break and tied the set at 9-9 off a Wilhite kill and took a 10-9 lead off a block from Wilhite/Lohman. The one-point lead forced Stanford to call a timeout. Minnesota took a 14-12 lead off a Hart kill. Stanford came back and tied the set at 14. Minnesota took a 18-15 lead off back-to-back Stanford attack errors and a Wilhite kill. The three-point lead forced Stanford to call its second timeout of the set. Stanford tied up the set at 18 off three-straight points as the Gophers called a timeout. Minnesota came out of the break and had a two-point lead before Stanford tied it at 21. Minnesota went up two again off a kill by Hart at 23-21. Minnesota then went up 24-22 off a block and finished off the set off a Lohman kill.
Set 4: Stanford took an 8-6 lead and later an 11-8 lead. With Stanford leading, 13-9, Minnesota called a timeout. The Cardinal took a 16-11 lead and later an 18-14 lead. Minnesota cut the Stanford lead to 18-16 off a Wilhite kill and a Cardinal error as Stanford called a timeout. The Gophers cut the Cardinal lead to one, but the Cardinal rattled off two straight for a 20-17 lead as Minnesota called its second timeout. The Gophers tied up the set at 21 off a block. Stanford went up 23-21 off a Gopher attack error.