The No. 10 Gophers volleyball team defeated unranked rival Wisconsin in straight sets Wednesday at the Sports Pavilion.
The sets grew increasingly closer, from 25-19 to 25-22 to 28-26.
Head coach Hugh McCutcheon said his team’s passing helped keep the Badgers at bay.
“That’s something that we’ve been getting better at as the season’s progressed,” McCutcheon said of the Gophers’ passing.
A few matches ago, Minnesota struggled mightily with its passing, culminating in a 3-0 loss to No. 1 Penn State.
Freshman libero Lindsey Lawmaster said practice has helped her team move past the errors.
“I definitely think in practice we’ve been improving a lot,” Lawmaster said, “making our moves more simplistic and not really getting out of control.”
The Gophers had only one receiving error to the Badgers’ 10.
Minnesota’s strong serving helped it grab an early lead. Eight of the team’s 10 service aces came in the first set.
Freshman outside hitter Daly Santana had four aces, while junior middle blocker Tori Dixon and senior outside hitter Katherine Harms had two each. Lawmaster and junior setter Alexandra Palmer had one apiece.
Santana also led the Gophers in digs with 11, and she tied Dixon and senior middle blocker Dana Knudsen for the team lead in kills with nine.
“I think it feels great to have a good game in different phases of the game, not only one,” Santana said.
The Badgers failed to take the lead until midway through the third set, although they had tied the set 11 times up to that point.
The Gophers rallied to tie the third set six times before winning the last two points.
With the win, the Gophers improved their record to 16-4 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten conference.
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