Minnesota eases past N. Dakota St.
Cowles, Wittman lead Gophers into second round
No. 19 Minnesota earned a three-set win against North Dakota State on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament at the Sports Pavilion.
With the win, the Golden Gophers (19-11) advance to the second round and will face Washington at 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday, also at the Sports Pavilion.
Minnesota was led by senior Hailey Cowles, who had 13 kills and hit .323, while Ariana Filho hit .688 (11-0-16).
Mia Tabberson had a match-high 46 assists and Jessica Granquist had a match-high 19 digs.
The Golden Gophers hit .289 compared to NDSU’s .135 in the first set to take it, 25-17. Cowles hit .462 in the first set as she had seven kills. Ariana Filho had four kills and hit for .800 in the first set, while Tabberson had 15 assists.
The two teams had five tie scores and two lead changes in the first. Tied at 6-6, Minnesota would later go on a five-point run, putting the set at 16-10. Minnesota would later close out the first set with back-to-back kills by Cowles.
The Gophers then hit .439 to propel them to a 25-21 second-set win. Minnesota never trailed in the second set and only held a tie at 2-2 as the Gophers led the remainder of the time. NDSU inched closer at 12-11, but the Gophers increased its lead to 16-12 on a kill from Harms and later a 19-15 lead on a kill from Dixon.
Minnesota would get its last two set points with kills from Cowles and Harms.