Minnesota Dominates Net in Four-Set Win over UNI to Make Sweet 16

  0 Wendy Mayer | December 02nd, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, Missouri Valley Conference, News


  • No. 7 Minnesota def. Northern Iowa 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-19, 25-17)
  • Minnesota moves to 28-5; Northern Iowa ends the season at 27-9
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Attendance: 4,657
  • Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS – No. 7 seeded Minnesota dominated the net both offensively and defensively in a four-set win over Northern Iowa to advance to their eighth Sweet 16 in the last nine years.

The Gophers outhit the Panthers .311 to .176 and outblocked them 11 to 1. Minnesota also outdid UNI in kills (66-55) and digs (82-80). Each team managed just one ace.

Sophomore outside hitter Alexis Hart paced a group of five Gophers with nine or more kills. Hart downed 20 kills and put up five blocks, while redshirt freshman middle blocker Regan Pittman (14), senior middle Molly Lohman (11), freshman opposite Stephanie Samedy (9) and sophomore outside Brittany McLean (9) followed. Pittman hit at a team-best .522 clip, while Lohman hit .455 and put up a match-high eight stuffs. Senior libero Dalianliz Rosado pulled up 26 digs, while junior setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson (17) and freshman defensive specialist Lauren Barnes (13) also notched double-digit saves. Seliger-Swenson rounded out a double-double with 53 assists.

Junior outside Bri Weber (16), sophomore outside Karlie Taylor (15) and junior middle Piper Thomas (11) paced the Panthers. Weber hit at a team-high .324 clip and added 14 digs. Three other UNI players managed double-digit dig tallies: junior libero Kendyl Sorge (26), Taylor (15) and redshirt freshman defensive specialist Taylor Hedges (12).

Minnesota took the lead at 12-9 with a 4-0 run, including a kills and a block by Lohman and the Gophers held on for the rest of the set. Up just two at 19-17, Minnesota capped the win with six of the next seven points, including three stuffs by Lohman and a final kill by Hart to seal a 25-18 win.

Down 6-4 in Set 2, Northern Iowa mounted a comeback with an 11-4 run. Three kills each by Taylor and Weber gave the Panthers the 15-10 edge. Minnesota pulled within one at 15-14 after back-to-back kills by Pittman, but UNI answered with a 5-1 run to push ahead 21-16. Two Gopher errors and kills by three different player aided the rally. A kill by Thomas and UM hitting error gave UNI the 25-20 win and knotted the match at 1-1. The Panthers hit .364 with just two errors in the victory.

After 10 ties in Set 3, the last at 14, Minnesota pulled away with two Pittman kills and two Hart stuffs to go up 21-15. The teams traded points over the next eight serves leading to a 25-19 Gopher win. Kills by Hart and Samedy buoyed Minnesota down the stretch.

The Gophers jumped ahead 6-3 in Set 4 and never looked back in the final 25-17 victory. Hart and Pittman each notched four kills and the Gophers put up three stuffs in the stanza. A 4-0 run including a kill and a block by Lohman gave Minnesota a 13-6 edge and another run of four points put the Gophers ahead 22-10. A Lohman kill gave Minnesota a match-point try at 24-13. UNI scored four in a row, all on kills, two by Weber, one by Thomas and one by Taylor to keep the match going. Lohman put down the final kill to send the Gophers to the next round.


Courtesy: Minnesota Athletics

The seventh seeded University of Minnesota Volleyball team defeated Northern Iowa in four sets (25-18, 20-25, 25-19, 25-17) to advance to the NCAA Regional Semifinals. With the win, the Gophers improve to 28-5 overall.

Alexis Hart led Minnesota with 20 kills and was followed by Regan Pittman, who tallied 14 and hit .522. Molly Lohman posted 11 kills, hit .455 and had eight of the team’s 11 blocks. Stephanie Samedy and Brittany McLean had nine kills each. Samantha Seliger-Swenson had a double-double with 53 assists and 17 digs. Dalianliz Rosado posted 26 digs, followed by Lauren Barnes who had 13. As a team, the Gophers hit .311 on the match, including .457 in the fourth. Minnesota out blocked the Panthers 11-1 and held a 66-55 kill advantage.



The Gophers are back in action in the NCAA Regional Semifinals on December 8 as they take on the University of Southern California. Times and streaming information will be announced at a later date.

Set Breakdown:

First Set: Minnesota utilized five blocks en route to a 25-18 set win. The two teams traded points until Minnesota went on a three-point run at 12-9, capped off by a kill from Lohman. It forced UNI to call a timeout. The Gophers later went up 15-12 off a McLean kill, and a Hart kill pushed the score to 18-14 and another Northern Iowa timeout. UNI cut the lead to two off a kill at 19-17, but Minnesota added four-straight off an UNI attack error and a 23-17 lead. Minnesota finished off the set with a Hart kill and a 1-0 lead.

Second Set: Northern Iowa hit .364 to take the second set, 25-20. UNI opened the second set with a 10-7 lead the Gophers called a timeout. The Panthers took a 15-10, but the Gophers cut UNI’s lead to off a Pittman kill at 13-15. Northern Iowa called its first timeout. However, UNI took a four-point lead off a Gopher attack and an 18-14 lead as the Gophers called a timeout. Minnesota came within three at 20-23, but UNI finished off the set with a kill and a point off a Gopher attack error.

Third Set: After 10 ties and six lead changes the Gophers pulled away mid set and won the set, 25-19. Tied at 14-14, Minnesota took a three-point advantage off a McLean kill, which resulted in a UNI timeout. Minnesota took a 19-15 lead off a block from Pittman and Hart. The Gophers later took a 21-15 lead as Hart added a kill off the UNI block attempt. Minnesota added its 23rd point off a Hart kill, while Samedy pushed it to set point. UNI committed an attack error, which gave the Gophers a 2-1 lead.

Fourth Set: The Gophers had 17 kills and hit .457 in the fourth to win it, 25-17. Minnesota opened the fourth set with a 7-4 lead off a Seliger-Swenson kill. After a block by Samedy and Lohman, UNI called a timeout. Hart delivered back-to-back kills, as she touched both corners of the back court, for a 12-6 lead. It forced Northern Iowa to call its second timeout. Another block by Lohman and Hart pushed the lead to 14-7. Minnesota took an 18-9 lead off back-to-back UNI attack errors. The Gophers poured on the pressure and took a 22-10 lead off a UNI attack error. Minnesota later closed out the match with a kill from the senior Lohman to win, 3-1.

Post Match Quotes
Hugh McCutcheon, Minnesota Head Coach
“Very proud of our performance tonight. UNI is one heck of a team and certainly they played like it tonight. It was a great battle. Really proud of our athlete’s ability to maintain composure, execute the plan, to make adjustments in match, and most importantly to compete like crazy and to move onto the next round. We’re certainly very happy to advance.”

“Pretty special night of volleyball and the caliber of the two teams going at it. I thought it was one of our best performances of the year. Thanks to the fans for coming out and it’s been another great year of volleyball in Minnesota. We’re so grateful for them and hopefully they appreciated our last match.”

On the how Alexis Hart played…
“She was matched up with a favorable blocking matchup. Most of it had to do with the fact we were digging a lot off the net. The ball ended up going high left a lot and Alexis happened to be the lucky outside hitter in those rotations. She did a nice job in the first set to hit with a lot of range. Then in the second set in system really good with transition trying to do a lot. Then really great three and four. She was controlled and such great swings. I thought she grew a lot today you can ask her but I think she got a whole lot better today.”

On blocking performance tonight…
“I thought we blocked quite well. As you saw last night and could see tonight they hit with a lot of different range and routes their hitters are running. I was really impressed with our athlete’s ability to identify the route and get their hands in front of them. Piper Thomas was a handful no doubt. I was really impressed with our ability to see it, read it, and be over extending the contact. It made a big difference. Good to get some stuffs and we like a few of those leading into the next round.

On team’s connectedness…
“What’s important for this team is the connections are authentic. If Lex is on and she has the hot-hand then everyone is on board. They are doing everything they can to help her be successful. If it’s someone else then they’re happy to do that. If it means making changes and making subs and this team is very selfless and very invested in this idea that it will take all 18 of us to get us here and going forward.”

No. 19 Alexis Hart
On the difference in fourth set…
“In the fourth set we had a lot more energy and we were more connected. We were 100% out for every rally and every single point no matter what. I think that was a big thing for us going from the third set to the fourth.”

On strong start in the fourth set…
“We wanted to take it one point at a time like always, and I think we did a really good job of being in control.”

On importance of closing match in fourth set…
“Pretty important. I thought we did really well of just moving on to the next point. If they did something we just moved on to the next point and focusing on our side of the net. We did a good job of taking care of our side-outs.”

No. 21 Regan Pittman
On experience gained thus far in tournament…
“This experience has been really humbling and with such strong leadership from our upperclassmen it really has helped guide us to become better.”

On Alexis Hart‘s success on court as of late…
“To see those opportunities it’s an amazing experience. You want to see your teammates do well. I believe everyone is helping her through her successes.”


Courtesy: Northern Iowa Athletics

The No. 7-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers volleyball squad advanced to the NCAA regional semifinal with a 3-1 triumph over the University of Northern Iowa Panthers on Saturday at Maturi Pavilion. Minnesota won by set scores of 25-18, 20-25, 25-19, 25-17.

Minnesota (28-5 overall) pounded out a .311 hitting percentage with 66 kills and limited UNI to a .176  hitting percentage and 55 kills. Minnesota edged UNI in digs, 82-80.

The Golden Gophers were led by Alexis Hart with 20 kills and Dalianliz Rosado with 26 digs. UNI was led by a pair of double-doubles from Bri Weber (16 kills, 14 digs) and Karlie Taylor (15 kills, 15 digs). UNI senior setter Heather Hook posted 41 assists, seven digs and five kills in her final collegiate match.

UNI took its first lead of the match at 9-8 on a block by Piper Thomas and Jaydline Seehase. Minnesota answered with a 4-0 run to retake the lead, 12-9. UNI closed the gap to 18-16, but a 7-2 run to end the first set gave the Gophers an early advantage, 25-18.

The Panthers evened it up in the second set in front of 4,657 fans that came out to watch the NCAA second round match. UNI hit .364 in the second set with 18 kills and two errors. Taylor pounded down six kills in the set. UNI held a 15-10 lead and saw it trimmed to one at 15-14, but the Panthers refused to give in. UNI ran off three straight points to push its lead back to four at 18-14. The Panthers were able to sideout at a 64-percent clip in the second set that keyed a 25-20 victory.

Minnesota swung the momentum back in its favor in the third set and took advantage of seven late UNI attack errors. The Golden Gophers tallied 17 kills and five errors with a 73-percent sideout effort. The Panthers and Gophers were even at 14-14 before the home squad put together a 7-1 run that left the Panthers in a 2-1 set hole.

Minnesota closed out the match with a 25-17 victory in the fourth set. The Gophers tallied a 77-percent sideout effort in the final set and made only one attack error to go with 17 kills. UNI posted 12 kills and seven errors in the fourth set for a .132 attack percentage.

UNI closes its 2017 season at 27-9.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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