The Gophers volleyball team fell below. 500 in the Big Ten on Friday by dropping a three set-match to Northwestern, 25-23, 25-23 and 25-21 in Evanston, Ill.

The loss marks the second year in a row in which the Gophers (12-8, 5-6) have fallen to the Wildcats on their home court.

Minnesota's Ashley Wittman had a double-double of 14 kills and 10 digs.

Hailey Cowles tied Wittman with 14 kills, while Katherine Harms had 12 kills.

Kellie McNeil, in her first career start, had 31 assists, one ace, five digs and four block assists.

The Gophers will play at third-ranked Illinois on Saturday night.

Gophers women's hockey skates to victory at Bemidji

The second-ranked Gophers improved to 8-1-0 overall and 6-1-0 in WCHA play with a 4-1 women's hockey victory at Bemidji State.

Jen Schoullis had her first hat trick as a Gopher.

Bemidji State jumped to a 1-0 lead on Sadie Lundquist's goal 7 minutes and 22 seconds into the game.

About eight minutes later, Schoullis tied it with a goal, assisted by junior Megan Bozek. Schoullis notched her second goal of the game less than three minutes later, again assisted by Bozek. Schoullis got an empty-net goal at 19:41 of the third.


• The Gophers men's and women's swimming and diving teams each beat Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. The Gophers men opened their season and Big Ten action with a 183-105 victory, while the women improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten with a 177-121 win.

• Freshman Taylor Uhl got a hat trick to give the Gophers a 6-3 home victory over Nebraska in women's soccer. The Gophers secured the fifth seed in the Big Ten tournament that starts Nov. 2 in Evanston, Ill.