Sept. 23, 2012
Watch: Minnesota Match Highlights
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Minnesota 3, Northwestern 1
Records: NU (11-2, 0-2 Big Ten), Minnesota (11-2, 2-0 Big Ten)
Next NU Event:Friday, Sept. 28 -- at No. 17 Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), 6 p.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill.-- Northwestern claimed the first set off of No. 12 Minnesota Sunday afternoon, but the Wildcats were stopped in their tracks and the Golden Gophers won the thrilling Big Ten match, 3-1 (17-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-15).
Northwestern's Stephanie Holthus led all players in the match with 21 kills and surpassed the 1,000-kill plateau for her career in a Wildcat uniform. She becomes the 20th Wildcat to achieve the feat and now owns 1,014 for her career to move into 19th-place in NU annals.
The 'Cats showed no fatigue from Friday's taxing match against Wisconsin in the first set Sunday. Northwestern scored the first four points of the match, which forced Minnesota head coach Hugh McCutcheon to burn an early timeout. The Wildcats showed no sign of letting up however as they extended the lead to as many as nine points at 20-11.
|Minnesota Match Highlights|
|[Interview with NU head coach Keylor Chan]|
Northwestern sealed the 25-17 first-set victory when Katie Dutchman and Monica McGreal combined on a block of Minnesota's Daly Santana.
It was the Golden Gophers that dictated the pace in the second set. Minnesota opened the stanza on a 9-3 run. The Wildcats chipped away and eventually pulled to within one point at 16-15 on a dump by setter Madalyn Shalter. A subsequent 5-0 run by the visitors, however, made it 21-15 in their favor as they went on to win the second set, 25-18, and even the match at one set each.
The first two sets featured zero tie scores and no lead changes, but the third set featured eight tie scores and five changes to make up for it. NU took a one-point lead at 12-11 on a kill by Holthus, but gave it right back on back-to-back blocks by Minnesota. The Golden Gophers never trailed from that point on in the third set, winning, 25-21.
The fourth frame followed a similar outline to the third. Minnesota owned a 9-6 lead, but a kill by Savannah Paffen, an ace by freshman Abbie Kraus and another termination by Holthus knotted the score at nine.
Coming out of a timeout, UM went on a quick 6-2 run to establish a 15-11 advantage. Northwestern would come no closer. Minnesota really controlled the net with four blocks in the fourth set alone as they won, 25-15.
Yewande Akanbi joined Holthus in double figures with 11 kills, while Dutchman added seven and a team-high five blocks. Shalter led Northwestern with 40 assists and added a team-high 12 digs to record her 10th double-double in 13 matches this season.
The Wildcats will take their first road trip of the Big Ten season next weekend when they head to the nearby state of Indiana. Northwestern will lock horns with the 17th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers on Friday, Sept. 28 before traveling to Bloomington to face the Indiana Hoosiers the following day. Purdue is 2-0 in Big Ten play, while the Hoosiers are winless in two tries.
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