Minnesota outblocked Northwestern 12-6 en route to a 3-set sweep of the Wildcats Friday night at the Sports Pavilion.
The Gophers played well enough to win, despite hitting just .214. Minnesota held Northwestern to a .181 hit percentage, as junior Christine Tan collected 22 digs.
Lauren Gibbemeyer and Brook Dieter led the Gophers with 14 and 15 kills, respectively. The Wildcats didn't have a player record more than 10 kills.
Daily: Player of the Match
Chin: Brook Dieter is the player of the match this evening. She came out in set one and put away six balls to make a statement that the Gophers are not going to let up to Northwestern. Dieter finished with 15 kills, and it was the first time in a number of matches that we have seen her play back row. Her scrappy defense and her tough serving (two aces) kept Northwestern on their toes, forcing them to pass better in order to get more hitters involved in their offense. It was nice to see her come out and shine for the Gophers tonight.
Daily: What does Minnesota need to do better to prepare for Wisconsin?
Chin: Minnesota really needs to improve on their serving. Their ace to error ratio was 5:3, which is good but rather conservative. Playing a team like Wisconsin, they will need to serve tough in order to get their offense out of system and cause disorder. Also, Minnesota will need to resort back to their nonconference defensive pattern, as they were picking up everything, and seemed to struggle with that a bit tonight. Some mental errors here and there could be fixed, and Minnesota could have the advantage over No. 18 Wisconsin. However, they will be out for a big win after a tough loss to Iowa tonight.
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