In front of 5,541 fans at the Maturi Pavilion, Minnesota rallied to win its second match against Wisconsin this season. The No. 5 Gophers finished the match by winning the third set 25-21 and the fourth 25-22 against No. 9 Wisconsin on Saturday night.
After she won the most recent Big Ten Player of the Week award, one wouldn’t guess Alexis Hart only picked up volleyball in high school. Hart set her high school's record in long jump, and has since retooled those skills for the front of the line on the volleyball court.
After a back-and-forth first set, the Minnesota volleyball team stormed back to dominate the second and third set. Fueled by a team hitting percentages of .412 in the second set and .394 in the third, Minnesota increased its win streak to five at Maturi Pavilion on Sunday with a sweep against Iowa.
Trailing 11-4 in the third set, Minnesota’s hope for a match sweep seemed bleak. Instead, the Gophers went on a 10-3 run to tie the set at 14, eventually winning the set by a final score of 25-23, earning the sweep. "I don't think the plan was to force them into mistakes," said head coach Hugh McCutcheon. "I think it was just about our athletes making good choices at the right time.
Freshman outside hitter Jasmyn Martin didn’t always know that she wanted to play volleyball at the college level. In her sophomore year of high school, she faced a choice between basketball and volleyball as her sport of choice. “I had to make that big decision, and I thought if I stop playing, I’m going to regret it,” she said. For the Gophers, that decision paid off. Martin has added to the young core of the Minnesota volleyball program, providing both offense with her 93 kills that rank fifth on the team, and defense with 24 digs and 21 blocks.
Just when it seemed victory was out of reach for the Gophers volleyball team on Saturday, they bounced back. Minnesota (15-2, 4-2 Big Ten) used a 13-4 run in the first set and an 10-1 run in the second to win both by scores of 25-21.
Defensive specialist Lauren Barnes enters the second week of Big Ten play fourth on her team in both kills with 109, and aces with seven.
After losing two straight matches, the Gophers volleyball team won easy on Saturday. Minnesota responded to a .183 hitting percentage Friday against Nebraska by hitting .333 against Iowa on Saturday, earning the sweep against the Hawkeyes in Iowa City, Iowa.
It’s hard to miss Taylor Morgan on the sideline at Gopher volleyball games. Whether by dancing or energizing the team vocally, Morgan makes her presence known. The redshirt sophomore has appeared in 16 sets this season, hitting .324, bringing energy off the bench.
After a 12-0 start to the season, the No. 1 Minnesota volleyball team can finally remove the target from its back. The Gophers (12-1, 1-1 Big Ten) were swept by unranked Michigan State (9-2, 2-0 Big Ten) on Sunday afternoon, losing 25-18, 25-23, and 25-22.