The Gophers volleyball program lost in the Sports Pavilion for the first time this season Sunday, dropping a five-set decision to No. 11 Nebraska.
The Gophers are ranked ninth in the country, Nebraska 11th. The match drew an announced crowd of 5,210.
Nebraska (19-4 overall) improved to 12-2 in Big Ten matches, one game behind first-place Penn State. The Gophers (22-5 overall) fell to 10-4 in Big Ten matches with six matches remaining.
The Gophers outhit the Huskers .335-.254 and held an 11.5-9.0 block advantage, but Nebraska led in the dig category 71-58.
Senior outside hitter Ashley Wittman led the Gophers with 19 kills and 46 attempts. Junior middle blocker Adrianna Nora had 18 kills in 41 attempts, and sophomore outside hitter Daly Santana had a double-double with 15 kills and 14 digs, a team high. Senior setter Alexandra Palmer had 36 assists.
Senior outside hitter Kelsey Robinson led the Huskers with 23 kills and 18 digs. Freshman Kadie Rolfzen added 20 kills on .351 hitting.
The Gophers will host Ohio State and Penn State next weekend.
U wraps up fall tennis
The Gophers men’s tennis team finished its fall season with a doubles loss in the finals of the Dick Vitale Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic in Sarasota, Fla.
In the main draw doubles final, top-seeded Florent Diep and Stefan Piro of Florida defeated the Gophers’ Mathieu Froment and Jack Hamburg 8-5.
The loss halted a seven-match winning steak for the junior duo, and they finished 11-2 in the fall season.
• The Gophers women’s tennis team finished fall play by going 7-1 in singles at the Kitty Harrison Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C.
NDSU linebacker honored
North Dakota State linebacker Carlton Littlejohn was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week by the league office Sunday.
Littlejohn, a 6-1, 216-pound junior from Minneapolis North, had a game- and career-high 16 tackles in No. 1-ranked North Dakota State’s 28-10 home victory over Illinois State.
Littlejohn made seven solo stops and had 1.5 tackles for loss. He made 10 of his 16 tackles in the second half after moving from the outside to middle linebacker in place of injured starter Grant Olson.