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Minnesota Athletics | October 13, 2018

No. 3 Minnesota women's volleyball sweeps No. 7 Illinois to stay unbeaten in Big Ten

Watch the best in women's volleyball take the court

The No. 3 University of Minnesota volleyball program earned a 3-0 sweep (25-22, 25-19, 25-20) over No. 7 Illinois, tonight at Maturi Pavilion. With the win, the Golden Gophers improve to 13-2 overall and 7-0 in the Big Ten. Illinois drops to 15-3 overall and 4-3 in league action. 

Minnesota was led by Alexis Hart, who had 15 kills in 33 attempts and hit .364. Stephanie Samedy had 10 kills, while Regan Pittman had nine kills and hit .444. Samantha Seliger-Swenson added 41 assists, had three aces, four kills and four digs. CC McGraw tied a match-best 14 digs, posted a kill and two assists. Taylor Morgan led the team with three blocks. In all, Minnesota had kills from seven individuals tonight.

As a team, the Gophers hit .270 to Illinois' .194. Minnesota also held a 50-33 kill advantage and out dug the Illini, 50-38. Illinois held a 6-5 block lead.

Minnesota is back in action tomorrow night when it hosts Northwestern. Match time is set for 7 p.m. and will be streamed on BTN Plus.

Set 1: The Gophers took the first set, 25-22. Minnesota and Illinois traded points through 13-13 before the Gophers strung together a narrow 15-13 lead. Pulling ahead at 19-15 on a Samedy/Morgan block, the Illini called a timeout. Illinois responded and rattled off three to cut the Gopher lead back to one. However, Minnesota put the lead back to three at 23-20 on a Pittman kill as Illinois called its second timeout. The Illini cut the Gopher lead to one at 23-22 as Minnesota called a timeout. The Gophers, however, closed out the set as Illinois committed two attack errors for the set win.

Set 2: Minnesota hit .341 in the second set and Hart added seven kills to win it, 25-19. As the two teams traded points through 11-11, Minnesota took a 14-12 lead off a Samedy kill, only to have Illinois tie up the set. However, the two teams were knotted at 14-14, 15-15 before Minnesota went on a 3-0 run as Hart rattled off three-straight kills. The run forced Illinois to call a timeout. Minnesota, however, continued to add to the lead and took a 21-16 lead off a Samedy kill. The Illini called a second timeput, but the Gophers came out of the break with a kill from Hart and a 22-16 lead. Minnesota received a kill from Morgan for the Gophers' 23 and 24 set point, while Rollins added the final point to go up, 25-19.  

Set 3: The Gophers solidified the win with a 25-20 third set victory as Hart added another six kills. As the two teams were tied at 12-12, Minnesota went on a 5-0 run, capped off by a Pittman kill. The Illini attempted to stop the run by calling two timeouts in that span, but the Gophers pushed the score to 17-12. Illinois closed the deficit to one at 18-17, but Minnesota had another two Hart kills and a Samedy/Morgan block for a 21-17 lead. The Gophers even got a kill from McGraw at the 22-18 point, while an Illini service error put the Gophers up, 23-19. The Gophers finished off the set and match as Illinois committed two attack errors for the 3-0 sweep.

RELATED: Minnesota might be the next team to win its first NCAA volleyball championship

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