IU played with the ferocity it showed in Saturday night’s upset of then-No. 13 Michigan, but came up short on the road at No. 2 Minnesota. The Golden Gophers won in three sets, but the Hoosiers kept it close in all three, losing 21-25, 24-26 and 21-25.
In the first meeting of the year between the two teams, IU failed to score more than 17 points in a single set. The Hoosiers were able to find more success this time around.
IU’s middle blockers, senior Jazzmine McDonald and freshman Deyshia Lofton, led the team in Wednesday night’s hard-fought loss.
McDonald came into this match off the heels of the best performance of her career, in which she recorded her first-ever double-double with 15 kills, 10 blocks and a .700 hitting percentage. The senior did not let up and contributed 13 kills with just one error and a .600 hitting percentage.
Lofton added 10 kills and five blocks.
Six different players earned kills for the Hoosiers through their first eight points, and the Tapp twins were active early for Minnesota. Paige Tapp had three kills and two blocks, and Hannah Tapp had a kill and three blocks in the first set.
IU, 15-11, 4-9, showed late fight in the first set. After trailing by as many as nine points, the Hoosiers stormed back to knock the deficit down to three at 21-24 on a Deyshia Lofton block. Paige Tapp then closed out the first set with a kill.
IU Coach Sherry Dunbar-Kruzan was hoping her team would be able to continue their blocking success from last weekend, but the Golden Gophers out-blocked the Hoosiers 5-1 in first set.
The Hoosiers had the second set in its clutches and nearly handed Minnesota just its third set loss at home this season, where the team has a 9-0 record. However, the 18-4, 10-3 Golden Gophers showed why they are the No. 2 team in the country and were relentless in their comeback attempt as they claimed set two, 26-24.
Senior libero Taylor Lebo became IU’s all-time leader for service aces in the rally scoring era when she earned the 128th of her career Wednesday. The co-captain also aided the Hoosiers with 17 digs, seven more than Minnesota’s leader in that category.
Set three brought with it another battle as IU led by three late, 18-15, before Minnesota began a run and took control, eventually closing it out 25-21.
The Hoosiers face No. 22 Ohio State in their next match Saturday in Bloomington.
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