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Gophers advance to Sweet 16 with a sweep over Georgia Tech

The No. 3 University of Minnesota volleyball program advanced to the Regional Semifinal with a 3-0 win over Georgia Tech, Thursday in Omaha. Minnesota (16-2) won by scores of 25-19, 25-21, 25-18 and will play the winner of the Pittsburgh/Utah match. Time and broadcast information to be determined at a later date.

The Golden Gophers had three with double-digit kills in the match. Stephanie Samedy had 13 kills, hit .357 (13-3-28), had nine digs, three assists, two blocks and an ace. Adanna Rollins hit .345 (13-3-29), had eight digs, two blocks and an assist. Taylor Landfair added 11 kills, an ace and a block. Regan Pittman contributed a team-best six blocks, three solo and three assists, and hit .308 with five kills. Shea Rubright also added four kills and three blocks. Melani Shaffmaster posted 32 assists, three kills, three blocks and an ace. She also had a team-best 16 digs. Rachel Kilkelly added eight assists and eight digs.

As a team, Minnesota hit .359, had 49 kills, three aces, 52 digs and 10 blocks. The Gophers held Georgia Tech to 39 kills as the Yellow Jackets hit .169 and had 38 digs and five blocks.

“Georgia Tech is a heck of a team and they absolutely made us earn it,” head coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “At the beginning of the match and even beginning of the sets, just some really good volleyball. It was a good match and they can play.”

Set Breakdown:

Set 1: Minnesota opened with a 25-19 set win. After the two teams tied at 6-6, Minnesota took a 12-8 lead on a Georgia Tech attack error. The Gophers took a five-point lead at 20-15 on a Samedy/Rubright block, which forced the Yellow Jackets to take its first timeout. The Gophers had back-to-back kills from Samedy and Rollins as Georgia Tech called its second timeout at 23-17. Minnesota, however, closed out the set on a Samedy kill for the 1-0 match lead.

Set 2: The two teams went through eight early lead changes before the Gophers took control of the set midway through. Tied at 14-14, Minnesota held the lead for good at 15-14. A Landfair ace at 19-16 forced Georgia Tech to call a timeout. Minnesota went up 22-18 advantage on a Rollins/Pittman block. Landfair added Minnesota’s 25th point off a kill for the 25-21 win.

Set 3: The Gophers earned a sweep with a 25-18 set win. Georgia Tech opened the third set with a 9-6 lead as Minnesota called a timeout. The Gophers responded out of the break and tied the set at 10-10 off a Rubright kill. From there, the Gophers went on a 5-2 run, capped off by a block from Shaffmaster/Pittman. Georgia Tech pulled within one at 18-17 and again at 19-18, but the Gophers closed out the match with a 6-0 run, including three-straight kills from Rollins.