No. 14 Minnesota defeats No. 4 Volleyball in four sets
AUSTIN, Texas -- Katherine Harms had 24 kills with 13 digs Thursday as the No. 14 Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the No. 4 Texas Longhorns, 3-1 (25-22, 25-13, 27-29, 29-27), at Gregory Gym. The Golden Gophers (7-0) snapped the Longhorns' home win streak at 33 matches, which had been the longest in the nation.
Harms hit .319 in the match (24-9-47) with two assists and three blocks. Ashley Wittman added 13 kills and 16 digs while Daly Santana also recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 16 digs.
The Horns were led by junior outside/opposite hitter Bailey Webster, who tied her career best with 17 kills and hit .368 (17-3-38) for the match. Freshman Nicole Dalton contributed a season-high 21 assists as well as 10 digs and one kill.
Senior Sha'Dare McNeal opened the match as the libero for the Longhorns. Harms added three kills late to make it a 24-18 advantage for the Golden Gophers. Webster's kill sparked four straight points for Texas, but Harms closed out the set with her ninth kill.
In the second set, the Gophers held UT to under 20 points for the first time this season. Minnesota jumped out to a 13-5 lead in the set and used an 11-3 streak to make it a 2-0 lead.
Texas emerged from the locker room for set three with an adjustment in the lineup--junior Sarah Palmer at libero and McNeal returning to her utility role--which paid off early with a huge kill from McNeal. The third set was close throughout and featured 17 ties and three lead changes. Webster posted six kills in the set, including three for the lead, as Texas forced a fourth set.
At the end of set four, McNeal posted massive kills to tie the score at 21 and again to put Texas in set point position at 24-22. Tori Dixon, who had 14 kills in the match, terminated to save set point, followed by a Golden Gopher block to tie it at 24-24. A Minnesota attack error gave another set point to Texas, but Dixon evened it again. Khat Bell and Dixon traded kills for the 26-26 score, but it was Harms who gave the advantage back to Minnesota with another kill. Bell recorded another kill, but a Texas hitting error gave match point to Minnesota as
Texas and Minnesota will play again tomorrow night, starting at 6:30 p.m. The match will feature a live broadcast on Longhorn Network. Gametracker live stats along with an audio webcast will be available on TexasSports.com and live Twitter updates @TexasVolleyball.
Notes: The Longhorns' last loss in Gregory Gym came on Sept. 3, 2010, against Illinois...the 33-match win streak for Texas is the longest in program history (previous best was 27 wins from Sept. 6, 1996 through Nov. 20, 1998)...Bailey Webster recorded 17 kills in a match for the third time in her career...the last time Webster had 17 kills in a match was on Dec. 9, 2011, at Kentucky in an NCAA Regional semifinal match...Haley Eckerman's five digs was a season high...Minnesota's head coach Hugh McCutcheon led the United States Olympic Women's Volleyball team to the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics...Minnesota is now 4-2 all-time against Texas...tonight's match was the first time this season that Texas has played more than three sets in a match.
MINN 25-25-27-29 TEXAS 22-13-29-27
Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott
On thoughts about Minnesota senior outside hitter Katherine Harms: She is good and we knew that. I thought we did a better job in sets three and four, but then she got hot again in set four. She hurt us early and we knew we had to key in on her and be all over her. She moved the ball around, attacked well, and we just have to do a better job with our block. We are reaching high and she was going underneath us, hitting different angles, and we will go back and watch that.
Sophomore outside hitter Haley Eckerman
Junior outside hitter Bailey Webster