#11 Gopher volleyball sweeps the weekend

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The No. 11 University of Minnesota volleyball team defeated the Michigan State Spartans in three sets, 25-19, 25-15, 25-14 on Sunday afternoon to cap off their 2-0 weekend at Michigan.

Jenna Wenaas led the way for Minnesota with 11 kills and three digs while Taylor Landfair had 12 kills and three blocks. Naya Gross had seven kills and five blocks in her return to East Lansing.

As a team, Minnesota (9-5, 4-2 Big Ten) hit a season-high .461 with 43 kills, eight team blocks, 26 digs and four aces. Michigan State (10-7, 1-5 Big Ten) hit .161 with 34 kills, four team blocks, 21 digs and an ace

Maradith O’Gorman led Michigan State with nine wins.

Distribution of the set:
Set 1: MSU led 2-1 early before four consecutive Gophers points put the visitors up 5-2 and forced a timeout from the Spartans. Jenna Wenaas had two kills early on, paired with a trio of MSU attacking errors. An MSU point at the break was followed by another 4-0 Minnesota run, punctuated by kills from Wenaas, Taylor Landfair, Naya Gros and Melani Shaffmaster. MSU battled from a six-point deficit to make it three at 11-8 with a 4-1 run. The Gophers would extend their lead to six at 20-14 with a 9-6 push, getting a pair of wins from Landfair, one from Gros and one from Mckenna Wucherer. MSU didn’t finish in the first set, however, responding with a 4-0 run to cut the lead to just two at 20-18, forcing a timeout from Coach McCutcheon. A 3-1 push from the Gophers after the timeout gave the visitors a 23-19 lead, leading to MSU’s second timeout. Minnesota closed the set, 25-19, with a block from Gros and Landfair. Landfair (5) and Wenaas (4) led the “U” in wins as the team hit .433 to MSU’s .176.

Set 2: A hot start for the Gophers gave them a 5-1 lead and forced an early timeout from MSU. The Spartans cut it to 6-4 before a block from Gros and Wenaas and a kill and ace from Wenaas helped put the “U” up 11-5. The Spartans then burned the set’s No. 2 timeout in an attempt to stop the momentum. MSU would come as close as five at 16-11 before a 6-1 run from the Gophers gave the visitors a decisive lead at 22-12. Wenaas and Landfair had two kills in the run while Gros had one. Minnesota would close the second set with a 25-15 victory to go up 2-0. Gros finished the set with a solo block.

Set 3: The Gophers took an early lead in the third set, scoring eight of the first nine points to go up 8-1. Shaffmaster started the set with an ace before Wucherer, Wenaas and Landfair tallied wins. Booth also had two kills and a block early on. MSU would cut it to six at 9-3 before another 3-0 Minnesota surge put the Gophers at 12-3 and forced another timeout on the Spartans. Minnesota would extend its double-digit lead to 19-8 and the Spartans wouldn’t come closer to nine the rest of the way. Minnesota would close the set with a 25-14 win, sealing the sweep.

Notable:
-Minnesota improved to 59-19 all-time against Michigan State, including a 13-3 record under Coach McCutcheon.
-Minnesota hit a season-high .461, its seventh time over .300 for the year and fourth time in the past five games.
-Taylor Landfair (12) had double-digit wins for the 13th time this season and the 32nd time in his career.
-Jenna Wenaas (11 kills) hit double figures for the seventh time this season. She also reached a season high of 0.556.
-Naya Gros led the ‘U’ with five blocks, her third time this year with five or more blocks. She finished third on the team with seven kills, reaching a perfect score of 1,000.
-Melani Shaffmaster led the team with 33 assists and seven digs.

(information provided by Gopher Sports)

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