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Volleyball: NU swept by No. 4 Minnesota in home finale

Coming back from a month-long pause to face a top-5 team was not a recipe for success.

Northwestern Athletics

After a month-long COVID pause that caused the postponements of six games (three two-game series), Northwestern volleyball (3-5) returned to the court and was swept by fourth-ranked Minnesota. The Golden Gophers (12-3) won Friday night’s match 3-0 and Saturday afternoon’s contest 3-1.

Minnesota handled NU on Friday, winning 25-14, 25-21 and 25-14 to take it in straight sets. The Gophers were led by Stephanie Samedy, Regan Pittman and Taylor Landfair, who combined for 27 kills. Shea Rubright added nine blockd and while Rachel Kilkelly 10 digs.

UMN totaled 37 kills on .358 hitting, seven aces, 32 digs and 14 blocks compared to NU’s 31 kills on .113 hitting, four aces, 27 digs and four blocks. Temi Thomas-Ailara led the Wildcats with nine kills, and Abryanna Cannon added six. Cannon also paced NU with six digs, and Thomas-Ailara chipped in five more.

NU came out of the gates hot in the second game and won the first set 25-19. But the momentum stopped there as the Gophers won three straight sets 15, 15 and 20 to capture the match. Three players for Minnesota — Landfair, Samedy and Adanna Rollins — recorded more than 10 kills. Thomas-Ailara yet again led the Northwestern attack with 13 kills, with Nia Robinson close behind with 10. The Wildcats’ Alexa Rousseau registered 42 assists, the second most of her career.

The Wildcats finish their season this coming weekend in College Park with a two-game set against Maryland.