No. 13 Minnesota Hands Beavers First Loss Of The Season

Sept. 13, 2002

MINNEAPOLIS - The Oregon State volleyball team's five-match win streak came to an end Friday as No. 13 Minnesota handed the Beavers their first loss of the season at the Nike Invitational. The Gophers swept OSU, 3-0 (30-20, 30-22, 30-22).

'Minnesota played well. We allowed them to play with a lot of confidence because we made too many errors,' said coach Nancy Somera. 'Our errors came at really bad times. We'd start to get a good rally going, but then we'd have a service error.'

OSU (5-1) was outhit for the first time this season. The Beavers managed just 34 kills and hit .076 for the night, the first time the team hit below .250 this year. Minnesota (8-2) turned in 50 kills while hitting .342, the best mark for a Beaver opponent this year. OSU had not allowed an opponent to hit better than .206 in its first five matches of the year.

The Beavers, who led the Pacific-10 in digs at the start of the week, were also outdug for the first time this season, with Minnesota (8-2) coming away with a 54-42 advantage. Nikki Neuburger led the Beavers with nine digs, but it was the first match OSU failed to have at least one player reach double-figures.

'We didn't rely on our strengths tonight,' Somera said. 'We didn't serve well. Our blocking was undisciplined, so our defense couldn't do much. We passed OK, but we couldn't get anything going offensively.'

Minnesota had three players with 10 or more kills, led by Cassie Busse with 12, while the Beavers failed to have a player in double-figures for the first time this year. Joscelyn Hannaford and Megan McMillan led the team with seven, while Amanda Eggert turned in some solid play off the bench, hitting .417 with six kills.

Minnesota jumped out to a 10-4 lead in game one, capitalizing on several Beaver errors early on. OSU hit just .079 with 10 kills and seven errors in the first game, while the Gophers came through with an impressive .432 mark on 20 kills and just four errors.

Oregon State got its first lead of the match after a kill by Hannaford made it 5-4 early in the second game. The Beavers held on to the lead for awhile, but the Gophers never let OSU go ahead by more than two. Minnesota eventually tied things up at 16-16 and took a 17-16 lead after Busse's eighth kill of the match. The Gophers dominated the duration of the game, outscoring the Beavers 13-6 from then on.

The Beavers were able to keep things close through the first half of game three, but the Gophers sparked a run midway through to cruise to the victory. Leading by just two (18-16), Minnesota scored five straight points to go up 23-16. The Gophers led by as many as nine before closing the game out at 30-22.

In other Nike Invitational action Friday, No. 20 North Carolina defeated Ball State, 3-1 (22-30, 33-31, 30-23, 30-23). The Beavers will face the undefeated Tar Heels (7-0) at 8 a.m. PDT on Saturday before taking on Ball State (3-5) at 3 p.m. PDT.

'We're going to focus on tomorrow. It's just like it is in the Pac-10. You play a ranked team one night, and then you turn around and have to play another one the next day,' Somera said. 'If we can go 2-1 tomorrow, it will still be a great weekend.'

Match ResultsOregon State		20  22  22No. 13 Minnesota	30  30  30
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