The third-ranked Gophers volleyball team defeated the University of San Diego in four sets Saturday night, hitting .552 in the first set on the way to winning its season opener 25-19, 25-12, 29-31, 25-16 in Palo Alto, Calif.
They Gophers play No. 11 Stanford on Sunday.
Minnesota, coming off a Final Four appearance in 2015, hit .314 for the match, while it held San Diego to .227. The Gophers held a 15.5-3 lead in blocks. Leading the way for the Gophers was Sarah Wilhite, who had 23 kills and hit .351. Alexis Hart had 14 kills and hit .462, while Paige Tapp had 12 kills and hit .385.
Paige and Hannah Tapp each had seven block assists, while Samantha Seliger-Swenson had 52 assists, seven digs and two aces.
The Toreros averted a sweep with a competitive third set that included three lead changes and 11 ties. Tied at 22, the Gophers earned back-to-back points to force San Diego to use its second timeout. USD came back and evened it at 24, and the teams tied at 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, before USD prevailed.