Gopher Volleyball sweeps Louisville to earn 6th Final Four appearance

The Gopher volleyball team celebrates their win over Louisville in the National Quarterfinals in Austin, Texas on December 14th, 2019 Photo: Brad Rempel / Gopher Athletics
The Gopher volleyball team celebrates their win over Louisville in the National Quarterfinals in Austin, Texas on December 14th, 2019

Updated: December 14, 2019 11:14 PM

The University of Minnesota volleyball team punched their ticket to the NCAA Championship with a 3-0 sweep over Louisville, tonight in Austin, Texas. The Golden Gophers (27-5) are making their third Final Four appearance in five years and sixth in program history.

The 7th-ranked Gophers advance to face #3 Stanford in the National Semifinals in Pittsburgh at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.  #1 Baylor and #4 Wisconsin play the first match at 6:00 p.m.


Adanna Rollins was named the Most Outstanding Player, while Alexis Hart and Kylie Miller each were named to the all-tournament team. Rollins had 12 kills tonight, hit .379, had nine digs, three blocks and an ace. Hart and Stephanie Samedy each had nine kills in the match, while Taylor Morgan had five kills, hit .417 and six blocks. Regan Pittman also had six blocks and an ace. Miller posted 28 assists, eight digs and four blocks. Rachel Kilkelly added a team-best 13 digs
Minnesota hit .284 to Louisville's .067. The Gophers also established nine aces, 12.5 blocks. In the third and deciding set, Minnesota hit .321 and added four aces.
The Golden Gophers are making their third Final Four appearance under head coach Hugh McCutcheon. Minnesota also went to the Final Four in 2015 and 2016. Taylor Morgan is making her third appearance at the NCAA Championships, while Alexis Hart and Lauren Litzau are making their second Final Four appearance.    

"Obviously very happy with the win tonight, with the performance, and obviously extremely happy to be moving on in the tournament," head coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "So just very proud of our team and excited for the next match. 

On how the team played overall: "I thought it felt for the most part pretty good," McCutcheon said. "I thought offensively and defensively, we were feeling balanced. We got a fair share of blocks tonight, and we were digging at a pretty good rate. I thought our serve was really the key to the game, and that seemed to be a strengths of ours all weekend, and offensively we got production from a lot of different people, and that's also been something that's been fairly consistent for us."

Up Next 
Minnesota will play Stanford on Thursday, Dec. 19 in Pittsburgh, Pa., at the PPG Paints Arena. Wisconsin and Baylor round out the rest of the Final Four teams. 

How they won the match:

First Set: Minnesota took the first set, 25-21. As the two teams traded runs, the Gophers took a 20-17 lead off a Rollins kill as Louisville called a timeout. Louisville, however, cut the Gopher lead to one at 22-21 as Minnesota called a timeout. The Gophers responded out of their break with two-straight as Louisville committed an attack error, followed by a Pittman ace for set point. Louisville called its second timeout, but Minnesota closed the set on a block from Hart and Miller to go up, 1-0.

Second Set: Minnesota went on a 3-0 run and a 15-10 lead off back-to-back aces from Samedy. The Gophers continued the pressure and went up 18-11 on a Louisville attack error, which forced the Cards to call a timeout. The Gophers, however came out of the break and delivered three blocks for a 22-12 lead as Louisville used its second timeout. Minnesota closed out the set with an ace in the back corner from Miller at 25-14 and a 2-0 lead.

Third Set: Minnesota opened the third with a 6-2 run, but Louisville tied the set at 12-12 off an ace. The Gophers responded and went on a 7-0 run, including six on McGraw's serve rotation. Louisville called a timeout at 17-12, but the Gophers added to the pressure and took a 19-12 lead off a McGraw ace and a Samedy/Pittman block. The Golden Gophers closed out the match with an ace from Rollins, while the Cards had two attack errors to close out the match.  

Austin Region All-Tournament Team
Most Outstanding Player: Adanna Rollins, Minnesota
Alexis Hart, Minnesota
Kylie Miller, Minnesota
Aiko Jones, Louisville
Tori Dilfer, Louisville
Rachael Kramer, Florida
Logan Eggleston, Texas  

Courtesy: University of Minnesota Sports Information

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