Gophers fall in Sweet 16 in the state of Ohio

Austin, Texas– The No. 8 Minnesota Golden Gophers volleyball team fell in four sets, 25-22, 21-25, 21-25, 19-25, to the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes, Minnesota, Thursday afternoon at Gregory High School in the Sweet 16 Season ends 22-9, 15-5 Big Ten.

“Congratulations to Ohio State on a game well played,” said head coach Hugh McCutcheon. “I’m very proud of our team and I thought we were really good in some areas today. Unfortunately we just didn’t perform in other areas and just came back.”

Taylor Landfair led the Gophers with 16 kills Jenna Wenas had nine with 14 excavations. Melanie Schaffmeister notched 39 assists and eight digs CC McGraw stepped up the backfield with 17 digs.

“It was such a blessing to be able to come back this year and have another opportunity with my team-mates,” he said CC McGraw. “It was incredible to be able to work with this group and learn another year from Hugh and our amazing coaching staff. It wasn’t the result we wanted today but apart from that I wouldn’t change anything. I love this team.”

As a team, Minnesota (22-9, 15-5 Big Ten) averaged .173 with 45 kills, 12 team blocks, 49 digs, and four aces. Ohio State (22-9, 15-5 Big Ten) hit .298 with 67 kills, eight team blocks, 53 digs and three aces.

Emily Londot led Ohio State with a career-high 29 kills.

Set breakdown:
Set 1: The two teams started evenly, with neither leading by more than a point, until the Gophers broke a 9-9 tie to take an 11-9 lead. Taylor Landfair had three kills up to that point Melanie Schaffmeister had two during Carter booth and Arica Davis ever had one. The Gophers went up 14-10 after a 5-1 run and picked up an ace and another kill from Landfair. The Buckeyes scored three straight goals to reduce the lead from 14-13 to one before a kill McKenna usurer moved the ‘U’ up to 15-13 at media timeout. An OSU attack bug and a kill by Jenna Wenas gave the Gophers a 17-13 lead and forced a Buckeyes timeout. A 3-0 run by OSU made it a 17-16 game, leading to Coach McCutcheon’s No. 1 timeout of the set. The Buckeyes would tie it at 19 after a kill and a service ace. The two teams traded points on 20 before kills from Landfair and Wenaas put Minnesota at 22-20, leading to OSU’s No. 2 timeout. After the Buckeyes tied it at 22, Minnesota called its second timeout. The Gophers would finish on a 3-0 run to win the set 25-22, picking up kills from Landfair, Wenaas and Usurers. The ‘U’ reached .500 for the set compared to .433 for OSU. Landfair had six kills while Wenaas and Usurer had three each.

Set 2: Minnesota picked up where it left off in the first set, starting with a 6-2 run before Ohio State called a time-out. Booth had a few blocks early on to stop the Buckeyes attack. However, OSU would react and score seven of the next eight points to take a 9-7 lead. Kills from Landfair and Usurer with an ace from Shaffmaster led a 4-0 run from the “U” to retake the 11-9 lead. The two teams traded points and tied for 11, 12 and 13 before a kill and block from Booth gave Minnesota a 16-14 lead. Three straight from OSU put the Buckeyes ahead for the first time since 9-7. Minnesota went back up one at 18-17 before another 3-0 OSU spurt knocked down the ‘U’ at 20-18 and forced a timeout from Coach McCutcheon. The Buckeyes would go up to four at 23-19 before Minnesota called a timeout with the set on the line. OSU went on to win the second set 25-21 and finished the match one set apiece.

Set 3: OSU and the ‘U’ shared the first 10 points before a 3-0 dash from the Buckeyes, led by Londot, gave the visitors an 8-5 lead. A kill from Wucherer and a block from Davis and Shaffmaster helped finish it 8-8. An ace out CC McGraw and a block from Davis helped Minnesota go up 10-8, resulting in an OSU timeout. The Buckeyes tied it with two straights before the two teams traded up to 14-14. A 3-1 OSU sprint took them to 17:15, forcing Coach McCutcheon to call a time-out. The Buckeyes would keep it going and take a 22-17 lead before Minnesota called for their final timeout of the set. Minnesota would drop it to two at 22-20 and 23-21, but OSU finished the set 25-21 and went up 2-1.

Set 4: Kills from Landfair and Wenaas and an ace from Wenaas gave the Gophers an early 3-1 lead. Four straight from OSU gave the Buckeyes a 5-3 lead before Minnesota tied it with five. Two kills from OSU’s Moore and a Minnesota attacking error made the Buckeyes 8-5 and forced Coach McCutcheon to time out. The Buckeyes refused to slow down, scoring five of the next six points and taking a 13-6 lead and taking control of the set. The Gophers would cut it down to four at 16-12 and get kills from Landfair and Wenaas to narrow the deficit. Minnesota wouldn’t get any closer before OSU extended their lead to seven at 21-14. A kill by Wucherer and a pair of Buckeyes errors made it 21-17. OSU finished 25-19 to win the match.

NEXT: Minnesota ends its season 22-9, 15-5 Big Ten.

Remarkable:
-Coach McCutcheon’s last record with Minnesota is 277-74. His most recent NCAA tournament record is 28-10.
-The Gophers (12) have posted 10+ blocks for the 21st time this season (16-5 record).
Arica Davis (5) posted 5+ blocks for the fifth time this season.
Carter booth (7) registered 5+ blocks for the 11th time this season.
CC McGraw (17) rose to 1,924 career jumps. She finished three behind Christine Tan (1,927) for the all-time No. 2 at the ‘U.’
-Minnesota seniors Naya Gros, Ellie Huseman, Rachel Kilkelly, CC McGraw and Miranda Usurer ended their careers as high school graduates.
Taylor Landfair (16) had 10+ kills for the 28th time this season.

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