NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (Oct. 11, 2015) -- Despite resilient defense and strong energy, the Rutgers volleyball team fell to No. 11 Minnesota on Sunday afternoon at the College Ave Gym. The Golden Gophers claimed the victory by set scores of 25-11, 25-17 and 25-18.
Rutgers dropped to an overall record of 3-15 on the season, while continuing to search for a conference victory, while Minnesota improved to 13-3 overall and 5-1 in conference play.
Senior middle blocker Eden Frazier (Irvine, Calif.) registered a team-high eight kills for Rutgers, including four in the second set alone. Sophomore outside hitter Meme Fletcher (Overland Park, Kan.) followed with six kills, along with nine digs and a service ace.
A veteran defense held strong for the Scarlet Knights, as seniors Ali Schroeter (Bakersfield, Calif.), Anna Sudbury (Tomahawk, Wisc.) and Ronnie Komisarek (San Manteo, Calif.) each totaled double-digits in the digs column. Schroeter led the way and kept the RU energy solid with 16 digs. Junior Cole Trimble (Orlando, Fla.) tied her career-high with four blocks.
Minnesota was led by Daly Santana, the Big Ten leader in kills per set, with 10 kills and 12 digs. Dailanliz Rosado posted a match-high 22 digs, while Paige Tapp paced the scoresheet with five blocks and nine kills.
Rutgers and Minnesota traded points to open the first set. Despite a kill from Fletcher to put RU on the board first, the Gophers moved to an early 6-4 lead that they would never relinquish. With a 25-11 victory in set one, Minnesota carried that momentum into the second frame.
The Gophers found a 6-1 edge to start things off, but it was not enough to hold back the Scarlet Knights. Trailing 13-7, back-to-back kills from the arm of Frazier got the RU offense rolling. An ace from Fletcher and two attacking errors for the Minnesota brought Rutgers within one at 13-12. The Gophers responded with five unanswered points, however, kills from Frazier and Cloyd diminished the margin on the board, 18-14. However, it was the closest RU would come as Minnesota took its second stanza of the match, 25-17.
The Scarlet Knights mid-set surge carried through into the third set, as RU found the advantage on the board. A tremendous volley from both sides of the court on just the fourth serve was highlighted by the multiple digs from Schroeter in the back court and a kill by Fletcher to set the tone of the frame and keep the score even at 2-2. The count remained even, until RU found a 4-3 lead on a Gopher miscue.
Minnesota continued to inch closer, but Rutgers held its lead to 6-5. It was then that the Gophers regained their momentum, jumping ahead, 8-6. However that is the largest margin Minnesota would hold. Frazier nailed a kill to bring Rutgers within one at 9-7, as the Scarlet Knights would go on to tie the score on five occasions and never allow the Gophers to lead by more than two points on the board. A kill from Paige Tapp gave Minneosta the edge needed to ignite a run that both squads were in search of and pulled away with the final set win, 25-18.
- Rutgers faced its fourth ranked opponent of the season and second of the weekend. The Scarlet Knights other ranked conference foes included Illinois (No. 9), Purdue (No. 18) and Wisconsin (No. 16).
- Cole Trimble matched her career-best with four blocks in the contest.
- Alex Lassa added four kills for Rutgers, bringing her career total to 966 kills. The senior ranks ninth in the Rutgers career record books.
Rutgers is back in action with its first midweek contest of the year at Michigan on Wednesday, Oct. 14. The match will be televised live on Big Ten Network at 7 p.m. ET.