The end of the 2002 Hoosier volleyball regular season looms ever closer as IU is looking to capture an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. This weekend pitted the Hoosiers against the highly touted Minnesota Golden Gophers Friday and the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday. The No. 6 Minnesota squad lived up to their billing by sweeping IU 3-0. But, IU did not leave the weekend empty handed as it overpowered Iowa 3-1.\nComing off of a dismal match against Minnesota, IU came into Saturday's Iowa match with a mission, as their aspirations for post-season play rode on the match. IU cruised through the first game of the match 30-14, but the Hawkeyes lurched back into life in game two by amassing a 17-13 lead. The Hoosiers were able to pull themselves back into the game and eventually took game two 30-25. But, IU was not able to pull a sweep as the Hawkeyes pulled out to an early 12-5 lead. The Hoosiers then regrouped with a timeout and pulled within one for a 13-12 Iowa lead. The game was hard-fought throughout until the Hawkeyes were finally able to finish IU 32-30. The Hoosiers then closed out the match with a 30-27 win in the fourth game.\n"This was certainly a match that we needed to win to keep this season moving in a positive direction, which it certainly has been to this point," coach Katie Weismiller said in a statement. "With a small roster, we've been fighting through some injuries that have forced us to shuffle our lineup. I thought our team responded really well tonight although we definitely would have liked to have closed out the third game."\nSophomore setter Victoria Zimmerman amassed 64 assists to place her as IU's single season assist leader with 1,614 with two more matches to go in regular season play. Zimmerman's setting prowess set up four players with at least 13 kills, led by sophomore middle blocker Katie Pollom with 18, and libero Hillary Toivonen with 13. Toivonen typically doesn't hit as a libero, but she changed out of the position for this match. \nFriday night's match against the No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers was an uphill battle for the Hoosiers as Minnesota hungered for their first Big Ten title. The Golden Gophers came into the match winning 21 out of the last 22 matches and an impressive 15-1 conference record.\nDespite the prowess of their opponents, IU did not rise to the occasion. Offensively, the Hoosiers were off the mark, logging a .021 hitting percentage and only amassing 12 kills per game. Sophomore outside hitter Christina Archibald led IU's hitting attack with 12 kills.\nGame one saw both teams fighting, culminating in a 16-14 Golden Gophers lead. But Minnesota amassed a run to put the score at 22-16. IU was then able to pull within three for a score of 22-19, but the Golden Gophers downed IU 30-27. Games two and three were lopsided victories for Minnesota, winning 30-19 and 30-22 respectively.
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