Sept. 25, 2011
Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (Sports Pavilion)
Score: Northwestern 1, No. 9 Minnesota 3
Records: NU (9-4, 0-2 Big Ten), No. 9 Minnesota (8-3, 1-1 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Wednesday, Sept. 28-- vs. Purdue (Welsh-Ryan Arena), 7 p.m.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Northwestern dropped its second straight away from home Sunday afternoon, falling to the No. 9 Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Sports Pavilion, 3-1 (25-12, 23-25, 22-25, 17-25).
The 'Cats got off to a fantastic start in the matinee affair and took control early. With the score tied at six apiece, Northwestern rattled off an astounding 10 straight points. Hannah Crippen (Plainfield, Ill./North) terminated three kills during the impressive run, while teammate Kathryn Chrystal (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) added a pair. The Gophers would claw to with in seven points at 17-10, however the Wildcats closed the set on an 8-2 run punctuated by Stephanie Holthus (Burlington, Ill./Central) who put down one of her team-high 10 kills.
Northwestern hit .387 (13-1-31) in the opening set, while committing only one attacking error. On the other side of the net, Minnesota was help to an attacking percentage of .000 (10-10-43) with nine more miscues than the 'Cats.
Unfortunately the momentum of an early 1-0 lead would not be sustained. The second was back-and-forth the whole way and knotted at 23 late until Minnesota `s Ashley Wittman put down two of her match-best 20 kills to end it in the home team's favor.
The third set followed the same script as the two teams traded points through much of the set early. Northwestern's last lead in the third came at 8-7, but then the Gophers started to take control once again as they fought to another close win, 25-22.
The fourth set was in the home team's control for most of the way. Northwestern found itself in a 14-5 hole that simply proved to be too big to overcome.
For the match, Northwestern out-blocked Minnesota 18-10. Chrystal led all players with nine block assists and a solo effort, while Crippen tallied eight assists and one solo block of her own.
Crippen totaled nine kills for the Wildcats, while middle blocker Katie Dutchman (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines) added eight kills at a clip of .333.
The Wildcats will return home this week for a pair of matches. On Wednesday, Sept. 28, another ranked foe, the No. 13 Purdue Boilermakers will make their way to Welsh-Ryan Arena for a 7 p.m. match which can be seen live on the Big Ten Network. Saturday, Oct. 1, the Wildcats welcome Indiana at 7 p.m.
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