The pandemic-delayed opening weekend for the Gophers volleyball team proved to be a successful one.
Stephanie Samedy had 14 kills and six blocks and the Gophers beat Michigan State in three sets for the second day in a row Sunday, winning 26-24, 25-22, 25-12 at Maturi Pavilion.
The Big Ten delayed its volleyball season from the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic, so Saturday's victory over Michigan State was the Gophers' first match in more than a year. The schedule is set up so that teams typically play twice at the same site over one weekend, meaning the Gophers and Spartans faced each other again Sunday.
The Gophers prevailed in a first set that had 13 tie scores and five lead changes, even though they had a negative hitting percentage, hitting -.027 to the Spartans' .108. But after a Michigan State service error put the Gophers ahead 25-24, Samedy finished the set off with a kill.
The second set ended in similar fashion; Michigan State got within 23-22 on a service ace by Cecilee Max-Brown, but she followed with a service error to give the Gophers set point, and the Gophers clinched the set on an attack error on the next point.
The Gophers then were in control the entire third set, jumping out to a 6-1 lead and never letting the Spartans back in it.
Adanna Rollins added nine kills for the Gophers, who hit only .189. Melani Shaffmaster had 21 assists,CC McGraw had 15 digs, and Regan Pittman and Katie Myers each had four kills and four blocks apiece.
Sarah Franklin led Michigan State with 10 kills.