Tenth-ranked Minnesota hands No. 5 Michigan State first Big Ten loss of year
Tenth-ranked Minnesota handed No. 5 Michigan State its first loss of the conference season 3-2 on Thursday in front of 4,782 fans at the Sports Pavilion.
The win marks Minnesota's first victory against a top-five opponent this season as the Golden Gophers improve to 17-3 overall and 5-2 within Big Ten play. Minnesota fell in the first set, 23-25, won the second, 25-21, fell in the third, 24-26, won the fourth, 25-22 and won, 15-7, in the fifth and deciding set. Michigan State drops to 17-2 this season and 6-1 in Big Ten play.
Between the two teams, 72 attack errors were committed, 32 by Minnesota and 40 by MSU. Although the Spartans led in kills (57 to Minnesota's 44), the Gophers held a narrow margin in digs (93 to 92), aces (9 to 7) and blocks (15.5 to 13.0). Minnesota hit the lowest of the season at .067 as it had 44 kills, 32 errors in 179 attempts. Michigan State had 57 kills, 40 errors and 195 attempts to hit .087.
Daly Santana paced the Gophers with a double-double. She had 11 kills and 16 digs, and tied a career high with seven aces. Adrianna Nora came off the bench and led the team with 12 kills in 26 attempts and just one error when she hit a team-best .423. Morgan Bohl and Ashley Wittman led the Gophers with 20 digs and Tori Dixon had eight total blocks. Alexandra Palmer added a match-best 31 assists.