STATE COLLEGE, PA. – The No. 10 Gophers volleyball team defeated No. 15 Penn State 27-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-18 on Friday night. The victory was Minnesota's seventh this season over a team in the American Volleyball Coaches Association's Top 25.
The Gophers (19-8, 14-5 Big Ten) were led by redshirt senior opposite Stephanie Samedy, who had 26 kills and 13 digs. Airi Miyabe had 12 kills while Jenna Wenaas had 12 kills and 13 digs.
"Just listening to my coaches about what is available," Samedy said in a postmatch interview on the Big Ten Network, "trusting my setter [Melani Shaffmaster] to get me the ball every time and knowing that my teammates have my back when I go up there to swing.
"[This win] reminds us we are a good team and we can compete with anybody. So it gives us the confidence going into the [NCAA] tournament."
The Gophers have beaten Penn State at home only twice since 2003.
As a team, Minnesota hit .184 — .346 in the fourth set — with 60 kills, 75 digs and eight blocks. Penn State (19-10, 12-7) hit .144 with 46 kills, 65 digs and 17 blocks.
The Gophers' regular season ends Saturday night at Maryland. On Sunday they will learn who they face to open the NCAA tournament next weekend.
Minnesota remained in fifth place in the Big Ten, the Badgers in sixth.
• Wisconsin (24-3, 16-3) secured at least a share of the Big Ten title with its 14-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-18 home victory over Nebraska (20-7, 15-4). The Badgers can win the title outright by beating Indiana on Saturday.