10/13/2021 | 7:00 PM
Gopher Radio Network
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The No. 8 University of Minnesota volleyball team defeated the Michigan State Spartans in four sets, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-21 on Saturday evening.
The Golden Gophers (9-5, 4-2 Big Ten) were led by sophomore outside Jenna Wenaas, who tallied 17 kills and 11 digs while Airi Miyabe posted a career-high 16 kills. Stephanie Samedy had 11 kills and 12 digs while Melani Shaffmaster led Minnesota with 43 assists and 13 digs.
As a team, Minnesota hit .238 with 61 kills, seven aces, 59 digs and five blocks. Michigan State (8-7, 1-5 Big Ten) hit .203 with 46 kills, seven aces, 56 digs and 12 blocks.
Set 1: Minnesota went up 2-0 right away on a kill by Miyabe and an attacking error by MSU. The Spartans, however, scored the next seven to go up 7-2 and force a Gophers timeout. MSU continued its run, scoring the next two before the ‘U’ answered. However, another 3-0 run from the home team put them up 12-3 and forced coach McCutcheon into calling his second timeout of the set. The Gophers were able to get back in the set with a 7-2 run of their own, getting a pair of kills from Wenaas to get them back within four at 14-10. After the Spartans went up 16-11, a 3-0 Minnesota run capped off by a Husemann kill led to another MSU timeout. Led by a pair of aces, the Spartans re-took control of the set with a 7-2 run to go up 23-18. Three straight kills from Miyabe sparked a 4-0 Gophers run, but MSU scored the last two points on a service error and a Minnesota receiving error to win, 25-22. The Gophers hit .205 on the first set but had three service and three receiving errors.
Set 2: The Gophers held the lead for much of the early going in the set. The ‘U’ got kills from Myers, Rubright and Shaffmaster in addition to an ace from Myers to take a 9-6 lead. A 4-0 MSU run spearheaded by two blocks gave the home team its first lead of the set at 10-9. Minnesota would respond with a 7-5 run of its own to go up 16-14, forcing the Spartans into a timeout. The ‘U’ got its first block of the match from Miyabe and Rubright in addition to an ace from McGraw and kills from Samedy and Wenaas in the run. After MSU tied it at 16, a 3-0 Gophers run led by Samedy and Wenaas put the visitors back up, 19-16. A 6-3 MSU run would tie it up at 22, leading to a Gophers timeout. The ‘U’ would bounce back strong, getting kills from Shaffmaster and Samedy to wrap up the second set, 25-23 and even the match.
Set 3: MSU started off the third set with an 8-4 run, which led to a timeout from coach McCutcheon. MSU would go up by as many as five at 12-7 before two kills from Miyabe, an ace from Shaffmaster and a kill from Samedy cut the lead back to just one at 12-11. Minnesota regained the lead once again at 15-14 after two straight kills from Wenaas sparked a 4-2 run. After MSU tied it up at 17, Wenaas’ 11th kill of the night and a Spartans attacking error put the Gophers up 19-17 and forced a timeout. MSU would close the gap to one at 21-20 and 22-21, but two kills from Wenaas and one from Samedy ended the set with a Gopher victory, 25-21. The Frisco, Texas native came alive in the third set, leading her team with seven kills and an assist.
Set 4: The Gophers started out strong in set four, taking a 4-1 lead after early kills from Shaffmaster and Wenaas. MSU would respond, however, scoring eight of the next 10 points to go up 9-6 and force a visitors timeout. Minnesota would struggle to get any closer throughout the middle of the set as MSU consistently maintained a 4-5 point lead. Trailing 17-12, the Gophers made their run, scoring three straight to get back within two and force an MSU timeout. The ‘U’ continued its run after the timeout, getting a solo block from Myers and consecutive aces from Samedy to give them an 18-17 lead and cause the Spartans to take another timeout. Myers gave her team a much needed boost after the timeout with a solo block and two kills while Wenaas added an ace to put her team up 23-19. After two MSU points, Minnesota finished it off with two more of their own to win, 25-21, and take the match.
-Minnesota is now 58-19 all-time against Michigan State. They’ve won six straight and seven of the last eight in the series. Under coach McCutcheon, the Gophers are 12-3 against MSU.
–Airi Miyabe posted a new career-high with 16 kills.
–Stephanie Samedy posted her 53rd career double double with 11 kills and 12 digs.
-Jenna Wenaas tallied 17 kills, her 12th time this year in double digits.
–Melani Shaffmaster registered 43 assists, five kills, 13 digs (team-high) and two blocks.
-Katie Myers registered nine kills, four digs and three blocks. Nine kills ties a season-high.
Minnesota hosts Northwestern on Wednesday night at Maturi Pavilion. The match is set for 7 p.m. CT on the Big Ten Network.