Keeping their heads up after Friday night’s loss to Purdue, the Gophers arrived in Bloomington, Indiana ready to take on the Hoosiers.
No. 5 Minnesota won the match in just three short sets. Hitting .500 in the first set and .739 in the second set, the Gophers produced key kills that left them untouchable.
“I think looking at the match in a smaller perspective really helps us play our best,” outside hitter Alexis Hart said. “Watching one play at a time and reading our hitters is also important.”
The Gophers won the third set against Indiana with two aces, seven kills and a 10-point lead. The lead gave Minnesota the confidence they needed to finish the match strong. Alexis Hart, Stephanie Samedy and Jasmyn Martin all had kills to take it to match point. A service error on Indiana’s part sealed the victory for Minnesota.
As the season progresses and playoffs approach, the Gophers need to slow down and focus on the little things.
“We need to take it one step at a time," Hart said. "Each game will be a battle, but if we play together as a team, I know we will be just fine."
Gophers upset by Boilermakers
Minnesota went on the road to play Purdue in the first match of the weekend.
The Boilermakers made sure the Gophers left their road trip with a blemish on their record.
Minnesota fell to No. 21 Purdue in four sets Friday night in West Lafayette, Indiana. The Gophers trailed the Boilermakers the whole fourth set. Purdue capitalized on opportunities and took home a 3-1 win over Minnesota.
Purdue came out strong, taking an early lead. Hart gave the Gophers a 11-10 lead with back-to-back aces. Minnesota called a timeout after Purdue scored three consecutive points. A block from Regan Pittman and Taylor Morgan kept the Gophers within one point, but wasn’t enough to stop the Boilermakers from winning the set 25-23.
Stepping up their game, the Gophers tied the match 1-1 after winning the set 25-21. A kill from Samedy and a block from Molly Lohman put the Gophers ahead 12-5. As the the teams exchanged points, kills from Samedy and Samantha Seliger-Swenson helped Minnesota finish the set and come out on top.
Both the third and fourth sets did not go how the Gophers wanted. Dalianliz Rosado made an ace, and four points for her serve rotation had Minnesota feeling hopeful. Purdue had kill and a block, which ultimately gave the Boilermakers the lead, making the match 2-1.
“As we [headed] into our match against Indiana University, we all [needed] to focus on controlling our own actions as well as playing as a team,” Hart said.
Hart and her team will be put to a test next weekend with another away series for the Gophers — this time against Northwestern and Illinois.