WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Minnesota advanced to the national quarterfinals after defeating host Purdue in four sets. The Gophers (27-7) fell in the first set 23-25, but came back and won the next three, 26-24, 25-23 and 25-21. Minnesota will next face No. 1 seed Penn State.
Minnesota had three players achieve double doubles. Daly Santana had a team-high 16 kills and 14 digs, while Katherine Harms had 15 kills and 10 digs. Ashley Wittman provided 14 kills and 12 digs and Tori Dixon had 11 kills and a team-high five blocks.
Tied at 11, Purdue took the lead at 12-11 en route to a 25-23 set win. Minnesota jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, only to have the Boilermakers battle back and tie up the set. Purdue went on a 6-1 run and take a 17-12 lead. Minnesota, however, battled back and later pulled within one at 22-21 on a block by Dana Knudsen and Harms. The Boilermakers finished off the set on a kill by Ariel Turner for a 25-23 win. Dixon and Harms each had three kills in that set and were outblocked 3.0-1.0.
Minnesota tied the match at one with a 26-24 second-set win. Throughout the set, there were 11 tie scores and four lead changes. After Purdue jumped out to a 7-2 lead, the Gophers retaliated and tied the set at nine with a kill from Wittman. As the Gophers trailed 19-17 Minnesota had back-to-back kills from Santana and Harms to knot it at 19. Minnesota went up 24-22 for set point on a kill by Dixon. However, Purdue tied up the set at 24 on a kill from Anna Drewry. Minnesota finished off the set with back-to-back kills from team captain Wittman to tie up the match.
Minnesota went up 2-1 with a 25-23 third-set win. Minnesota came out of the intermission and started the third set with a 9-3 lead. Purdue pulled to 13-12 with a kill from Rachel Davis before Minnesota built up the lead again at 19-14. The Boilermakers came back and closed the deficit to 22-21 on a kill from Annie Drews. Minnesota capitalized on a block from Harms and Dixon, while Purdue had an attack error for a 25-23 Minnesota set win.
Santana and Harms paved the way for the Gophers in the fourth set to put away Purdue with a 25-21 set win. Santana had seven kills and four digs, while Harms had six kills. Of her 12 attempts, Santana hit .500 in the set and committed just one error. Minnesota also outblocked the Boilermakers 3.0-1.0. Minnesota pulled ahead two on kills from Harms and Santana at 19-17. Santana also added another kill to put the Gophers at 21-18 to force Purdue to call a timeout. Minnesota added a four-point lead when Santana and Dixon combined for a block. Minnesota advanced to the next round on a kill from Harms for the 24th point and finished off the match on a block from Knudsen and Wittman.