Gophers Are Up to the Challenge, Head to Final Four
(GopherSports.com) -- The University of Minnesota volleyball team swept UCLA on Saturday night 25-23, 25-20, 25-22 to advance to the National Semifinals for the second straight year. The Gophers improve to 29-4 on the season, including ending an eight-game homestand with four-straight NCAA wins.
"It was a very challenging match tonight," head coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "I was extremely proud of our athletes for the way they responded to the different style of play we got to see from UCLA. A lot of great defense from them and a lot of defensive discipline on their part. We were still able to find ways to close out these sets. Very proud and we'll enjoy it. As you know it's on to the next one." All-tournament team members from Minnesota were Molly Lohman, Samantha Seliger-Swenson, and tournament MVP Sarah Wilhite.
As a team, Minnesota put up 12 blocks to UCLA's 7, hit 46 kills, and had 61 digs. Wilhite lead the Gophers with 15 kills and eight digs, while Alexis Hart had 11 kills. Hannah and Paige Tapp both had seven kills, putting up a combined 11 blocks. Molly Lohman added five blocks and four kills. Dalianliz Rosadoestablished 17 digs, while Katie Schau had eight and Alyssa Goehner had seven. Samantha Seliger-Swenson added a double-double with 35 assists and ten digs.
With the win, Minnesota has now gone undefeated at home for the second season in a row as the Gophers are now at 36-straight home wins, dating back to Oct. 25, 2014. Minnesota finished 2014 with four home wins, followed with a 15-0 mark in 2015 and 17-0 this year.
The Gophers will face No. 6 Stanford in the National Semifinals in Columbus, Ohio next Thursday at 6 p.m. CT.