No. 3 Minnesota (12-2, 6-0 Big Ten) is the only unbeaten team left in the Big Ten after a Saturday-night upset of No. 3 Nebraska Cornhuskers (14-2, 5-1 Big Ten) in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Gophers won in four sets over the Cornhuskers. The teams traded the first two sets, but Minnesota came out on top in the final two for the victory.
“I thought it was pretty special, no question,” head coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “I thought they were really good tonight.”
The Gophers started on fire in the opening set, taking an early 6-2 lead over the Cornhuskers.
Nebraska came back firing as they shortened the deficit to a score of 13-12 with a three-point run that forced Minnesota to call a time out. After the break, the Gophers answered by scoring four straight points, extending their lead 17-12.
The Gophers took the first set 25-20 off a balanced offense where six players registered a kill.
Redshirt junior Taylor Morgan, who led the Gophers with five kills, credited the win to the team’s chemistry.
“It was honestly our team. We work really well together and communicate,” Morgan told Big Ten Network. “Our unity is our strength.”
From the first serve of the second set, it was a back-and-forth battle.
The Gophers fell behind by five, but a timely run put the Gophers ahead 17-16. But Nebraska survived the heavily-contested set as they took it 25-23.
This set loss was the first by the Gophers since Sept. 9 against Stanford.
Morgan led the Gophers in the second set with five kills. Freshman Adanna Rollins had four kills as well in the set.
The third set began where the second set left off. Both teams exchanged points until the score was 12-11 in favor of the Gophers.
Minnesota then went on a 11-point run and quieted a sold-out crowd in the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
The run was led by Sophomore Stephanie Samedy’s three service aces along with three kills by middle blocker Regan Pittman.
The Gophers won the set 25-14 and went ahead 2-1 in the match.
In the final set, the Gophers took an early 7-4 lead and never looked back. Senior Samantha Seliger-Swenson distributed the ball well as four players earned kills in the final set.
“All of our hitters can kill the ball and I just have so much confidence in them,” Seliger-Swenson said.
Although the set was fairly even, the Gophers held up against a late Cornhuskers run which left Minnesota ahead 19-16. The Gophers closed out set 25-21 to cap the upset.
The Gophers were led by Rollins who had 19 points off of 17 kills — both career-highs for the freshman.
“[Adanna’s] just a really complete player and is super consistent for us,” Seliger-Swenson said.
Seliger-Swenson managed the offense for the Gophers with 45 assists along with six kills and 14 digs.
The Gophers will return to action Friday when Illinois travels to Dinkytown.