Gophers beat South Dakota in NCAA Tournament opener

The No. 12 Minnesota Golden Gophers volleyball team defeated the South Dakota Coyotes in three sets, 25-19, 25-22, 25-17 on Friday night at Maturi Pavilion to open the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

The Golden Gophers (21-8, 15-5 Big Ten) were led by redshirt senior opposite Stephanie Samedy, who had 13 kills, eight digs and six blocks. Melani Shaffmaster totaled 28 assists with six digs while Jenna Wenaas tallied 10 kills and six digs. Ellie Husemann led the defense with eight blocks.

With the win, Minnesota moves to 9-0 in first round NCAA Tournament matches under Hugh McCutcheon.

As a team, Minnesota hit .244 with 36 kills, 10 aces, 36 digs and 10 blocks. South Dakota (20-10, 15-3 Summit League) hit .088 with 35 kills, one ace, 38 digs and four blocks.