Oregon knocks #2 Gopher Volleyball out of NCAA playoffs

December 07, 2018 09:20 PM

The #2-ranked Gopher Volleyball team thought they'd taken a 2-0 match lead, putting them well on their way to an NCAA Sweet Sixteen win over Oregon.  But video replay overturned set point, extended a remarkable second set that wound up finishing 41-39 for Oregon, and the Gophers seemingly never recovered.

The 3-1 defeat drops the curtain on the Gophers season with a 27-4 final record - two of the losses coming to 14th-ranked Oregon.

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The Gophers won the first set 25-21 prior to the epic second set marathon.

The teams combined to fight off 16 set points in the second set, which finally ended after a Gophers service error at 39-39 and an Oregon kill on the seventeenth set point.

After taking the third set 25-14 - the Gophers worst set loss of the season - the Ducks closed out the match 26-24 in the fourth.

Oregon (23-10) advances to face Nebraska in the Regional Final at Maturi Pavilion on Saturday at 5pm.

The Gophers fall short of making what would have been a dream appearance in a hometown Final Four, which plays at Target Center in two weeks.

MATCH SUMMARY (Courtesy: University of Minnesota Sports Information):

The No. 2 seeded University of Minnesota volleyball team fell in four (25-21, 39-41, 14-25, 24-26) to No. 15 Oregon. With the loss, the Gophers ended the season with a 27-4 record. 

Alexis Hart led the team with 20 kills and hit a team-best .340. Stephanie Samedy had 17 kills and led the team with career-high 24 digs. Adanna Rollinstallied her sixth double-double of the season with 14 kills and 13 digs, while Regan Pittman chipped in 12 kills. Samantha Seliger-Swenson registered 55 assists and ten digs to record her 12th double-double this season and 52nd of her career. CC McGraw had 18 digs and two aces, while Lauren Barnes had 13 digs. Taylor Morgan had a team-high five blocks. As a team, the Gophers hit .260 and had 71 kills, 86 digs and eight blocks. Oregon hit .313 with 82 kills, 96 digs and 11 blocks.

The Gopher seniors closed out their careers tonight in front of a crowd of 5,187. Four-year starter Samantha Seliger-Swenson finished her career with 5,674 assists, ranking fourth all-time in Gopher volleyball history.

Set Breakdown:
Set 1: Minnesota hit a stifling .465 in the opening set to win it, 25-21. After trading points through 7-7, Minnesota took a 10-7 lead off a block from Morgan and Samedy. After another block from Morgan and Samedy for the 12-8 point, the Ducks called their first timeout of the set. The Gophers took a 15-10 lead off a Rollins kill and a 17-14 advantage off a Pittman kill. Samedy added a kill for the 20-17 point. Rollins added a roll shot at 23-20 as Oregon called its second timeout of the set. Hart pushed it to set point, and finished it off for a 1-0 lead.
Set 2: After 26 ties and 11 lead changes, Oregon took the second set, 41-39. Minnesota opened the second set on a 4-0 run as Oregon called a timeout. Oregon responded a tied the set at 7-7 off a kill. The two teams traded points through 13-13 before Oregon went up 15-13 off a block as the Gophers called its first timeout of the match. Minnesota tied the set at 15-15 off an Oregon attack error, before the Ducks went on a 4-0 run and a 19-15 lead as the Gophers called their second timeout. The Gophers cut the lead to two at 17-19 on a pair of kills. On back-to-back kills from Hart and a one-point deficit at 20-21, Oregon called its second timeout. The Gophers, however, tied the set at 21-21 off a Morgan/Hart block. Tied at 23-23, the two teams tied an additional 16 times. Oregon had eight set points, while Minnesota had nine. Oregon, finally put away the set, 41-39 and tied the match, 1-1.
Set 3: Oregon used its momentum in the second to take the third, 25-14. Leading from the get-go, Oregon opened with a 5-0 lead as the Gophers called a timeout. As the Ducks built a 10-2 lead, Minnesota used its second timeout. Hart added a kill for the 7-13 score. A block by Samedy and Morgan put the Gophers at 8-17. Minnesota had a kill at 10-19 from Samedy. Hart added kills at 13-23 and 14-24, but Oregon closed out the set on a kill for a 2-1 lead.  
Set 4: Minnesota opened the fourth with a 4-0 run. Oregon called a timeout at 3-0 off a Rollins service ace. A pair of Samedy kills put Minnesota up, 7-4. Minnesota went up, 12-8 on a Pittman kill. Oregon, however, tied up the set at 14-14 and took a 15-14 lead off back-to-back blocks as the Gophers called a timeout. Oregon took an 18-16 lead off a kill. Minnesota came back to tie the set at 19-19 on a Pittman solo block. Minnesota took a 22-19 lead off a Samedy kill, however, Oregon came back to tie the set at 23-23 as Minnesota called a timeout. The two teams tied at 24-24 off a Rollins kill, but Oregon closed out the set and the match off a Gopher service error and Duck kill for a 3-1 win.  
 

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Chris Long

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