Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Volleyball: Northwestern falls to Minnesota in four sets

Daily file photo by Taylor Hancock
Northwestern volleyball players celebrate winning a point. Grand Canyon University’s Tim Nollan has been named the Wildcats’ next head coach.

Northwestern put up a good fight against Minnesota this weekend, but it wasn’t enough to avenge its October loss to the Golden Gophers

The Wildcats (11-13, 5-9 Big Ten) were defeated by Minnesota (12-10, 8-6 Big Ten) in four sets on Sunday’s Alumnae Day match.

“I think we put a lot of focus on serving tough, stopping their pins — they’re pretty pin heavy — and just digging a lot of balls, which we did,” senior middle blocker Leilani Dodson said.

Graduate outside hitter Julia Sangiacomo led the way with 16 kills, followed by Dodson with 13. Senior setter Alexa Rousseau ran the offense, recording 47 assists, while junior libero Ellee Stinson tallied 25 digs. 

Sophomore middle blocker Kennedy Hill continued her streak, posting an efficient .625 hitting percentage and racking up five kills in the match. She also led the team in blocks, tallying six. 

Set one started tight, with both sides scrambling to make out-of-system plays, then tallying efficient kills. Five of sophomore outside hitter Averie Hernandez’s kills kept the ’Cats in the game, alongside four kills and two aces from Dodson. With the score tied at 25, Dodson came through with a kill, followed by an ace by sophomore setter Lauren Carter to take the set 27-25. 

The Golden Gophers came back strong in set two with the help of eight kills from standout outside hitter Taylor Landfair. On NU’s side of the net, Sangiacomo came to life with six kills after a quiet set one. Despite a comeback attempt by the ’Cats, Minnesota took the set 25-23.

“I think Minnesota did a great job, with defensive effort as well,” Rousseau said. “I think we’re hitting a lot of shots that we know are open, but they’re just making really good plays and being scrappy.”

Set three remained close, with 16 tie scores throughout. Dodson and Hernandez kept NU in the game with five and four kills, respectively.

With the set tied 20-20, it looked like anyone’s game. But a 5-1 run by the Golden Gophers punctuated by two blocks gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead in the match. 

The fourth set started close, but with the score tied at 6-6, Minnesota began distancing itself from the ’Cats, aided by two aces. Down 17-11, NU started its comeback, going on a 5-0 run, and eventually taking the lead 22-21. But the Golden Gophers finished the afternoon on a 3-0 run, taking the set 25-21, and the match 3-1. 

“In the red zone, points after 20, I thought that’s where we … gave ourselves a lot of opportunities to win sets two and four and just missed out on the opportunities,” coach Shane Davis said. 

The ’Cats will look to bounce back on the road Wednesday to face Nebraska. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @pleonegetten

Related Stories 

Volleyball: Northwestern swept by Ohio State

Volleyball: Northwestern defeats Michigan 3-2, finishes first half of conference play

Volleyball: Northwestern falls to No. 2 Nebraska in straight sets

More to Discover