Big Ten 2023, News.

Minnesota 1510

After three straight losses, Minnesota won two matches this week (Photo: Minnesota)

Minnesota ended the fourth week of play in the Big Ten women’s volleyball conference on a high as the Golden Gophers apparently found their rhythm in the season and improved their situation in the conference with a pair of wins.

Besides Minnesota, the other three teams to go unharmed on the week were Indiana and the undefeated Nebraska and Wisconsin, who share the top of the standings with eight victories.

  • Watch the Big Ten Volleyball matches live on VBTV.

Minnesota entered the third week of conference play on a three-match losing streak and just two wins in their first six Big Ten matches. The team gave the first signs of reaction on Wednesday, with a three-set (26-24, 25-11, 25-16) road win over Michigan.

Back at home on Sunday, the Golden Gophers were pushed to five sets, but managed to top Northwestern 3-2 (25-14, 16-25, 25-27, 25-22, 15-12) to complete a perfect week and move up to seventh place with four wins and four losses.

Outside hitters Lydia Grote (senior), with 22 points (14 kills, five aces, three blocks), and Taylor Landfair (junior), with 18 points (15 kills, two aces, one block), led Minnesota in the match.

“I think what we’ve been working on at practice showed up tonight,” senior setter Melani Shaffmaster said. “We’ve been working hard to clean up several areas of our game and are holding each other accountable to that. It wasn’t always perfect, but it feels good to get the win.”

In the biggest match of the week, Nebraska ended Penn State’s winning streak in the season, downing the Nittany Lions in three sets (25-22, 25-22, 25-19) in front of their home fans on Saturday. Junior outside hitter Lindsay Krause, with 16 points, and junior opposite Merritt Beason, with 14, stood out for the Cornhuskers.

The day before, also at home, Nebraska topped Michigan State 3-1 (25-12, 25-19, 22-25, 25-15) to get to eight wins in the season.

Indiana also had a productive week at home, getting a 3-1 (25-23, 17-25, 25-16, 25-17) win over Purdue on Wednesday and sweeping (25-10, 25-20, 25-12) Michigan on Saturday. The Hoosiers are now fifth with five wins and three losses.

Defending champions Wisconsin continue undefeated too. Playing at home in both of their matches, the Badgers got sweeps against Rutgers (25-17, 25-4, 25-16) on Friday and Maryland (25-15, 25-12, 25-16) on Sunday.

The fifth week of Big Ten conference play will have four matches on Wednesday, three on Friday, four on Saturday and three on Sunday. Two of the 14 matches of the week will be streamed live for VBTV subscribers around the world – Purdue vs. Indiana on Wednesday, at 19:00 local time (23:00 UTC), and Penn State vs. Iowa, on Friday, at the same time.

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