Minnesota grabbed a commanding 2-0 lead over Cal Poly heading into the break, winning 25-18, 25-12 while holding the Mustangs to a -.034 hit percentage.
The Gophers recorded 7 blocks in the two sets, and repeatedly frustrated Cal Poly star Kylie Atherstone on her attack attempts. Lauren Gibbemeyer recorded four blocks, and Kyla Roehrig added three, including two solo blocks of Atherstone. Roehrig and Gibbemeyer each added 7 kills as well.
Christine Tan led the back row with 13 digs, while Pamela Luiz added 9 of her own.
For added thoughts, here’s Krista.
Mark Heise: Analyze what each team is doing well so far tonight.
Krista Chin: Minnesota started things off in the first set with a 10-2 lead, but Cal Poly began serving very tough, forcing Minnesota to work even harder for a perfect pass and closing in on their lead. Rachel Hartmann has set an outstanding first two sets and is connecting very well with her middles. Throughout the first set, Hartmann was keeping Gibbemeyer active and forcing Cal Poly to stay on her. Kyla Roehrig really stepped up during the second set keeping Cal Poly respectful of her as she put some balls away of her own and helped significantly in shutting down Cal Poly’s go-to hitter in Kylie Atherstone. Pamela Luiz has been one of the most consistent players for the Gophers, and Cal Poly has done a great job of serving her tough and trying to get her out of her rhythm. Luiz has responded very well and is showing her versatility with her offensive and defensive contributions to the team.
MH: Who needs to come out strong after the break?
KC: Cal Poly’s Kylie Atherstone needs to come out strong after their break. She is Cal Poly’s leading hitter and it is obvious that her teammates look up to her for leadership. Minnesota did a good job of shutting her down towards the end of the second set. Look for Atherstone to change it up a bit and start putting balls away. On the Gopher side, look for Brook Dieter to come out strong. She is a very stable player for the Gophers, providing much energy and enthusiasm.
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