Oct. 26, 2012
Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (Sports Pavilion)
Score: No. 10 Minnesota 3, Northwestern 0
Records: NU (14-8, 3-8 Big Ten), Minnesota (18-4, 9-2 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Oct. 28 -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), 1 p.m.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Northwestern opened the second half of its Big Ten slate with at No. 10 Minnesota Friday night, but the Wildcats were knocked off by the 10th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers, 3-0 (25-19, 26-24, 25-20).
The Wildcats were impressive offensively with a .345 hitting percentage in the match. Northwestern tallied 38 kills and committed only nine errors, but Minnesota ha dan even more efficient night on the attack. The Golden Gophers hit .424 with 50 kills to only 11 miscues.
Yewande Akanbi hit a season-high .346 (12 kills-3 errors-26 attempts) for NU, while teammate Stephanie Holthus matched Akanbi's output with 12 terminations of her own.
Fifth-year senior Madalyn Shalter led the Wildcats with 31 assists and seven digs Friday. Katie Dutchman had five kills without an error and a service ace on the night.
Minnesota came out firing from the start in front of their fans at the Sports Pavilion. The 'Cats fell behind, 6-1, before Hannah Crippen stopped the run with her first kill of the contest. That particular kill seemed to right the ship for the time being as Northwestern roared all the way back to snare a 10-9 lead. Minnesota put together a 9-2 run of its own to take an 18-12 lead to create a strong cushion. The Golden Gophers took the opening set, 25-19.
In the second set the two squads traded punches for the duration of the stanza. The Wildcats had a chance to put the match away with Holthus serving for set point and her team clinging to a 24-22 advantage. Unfortunately the offense grinded to a halt at that point and the Golden Gophers tallied the next four points necessary to win the second set, 26-24, and take a 2-0 advantage into the intermission.
After gaining a 4-3 lead on a ball handling error by Shalter, Minnesota never looked back in the final set. The Wildcats pulled to within three points at 23-20 on a kill from Dutchman, but the rally came too late. Back-to-back kills from UM's Tori Dixon
sealed the set, 25-20, and the match 3-0.
Dixon had 12 kills in the match, while Katherine Harms led all players with 19 kills in the contest.
The Wildcats will be off from competition on Saturday before traveling to Madison, Wis. to take on the UW Badgers on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. Northwestern fell to Wisconsin in the first meeting between the two schools this season, 3-1, on Sept. 21.
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