MINNEAPOLIS >> Playing without injured senior All-American Nikki Taylor, Hawaii saw its season come to an abrupt end, swept by second-seeded Minnesota 25-17, 25-17, 25-19 in tonight’s second round of the NCAA volleyball tournament.
Taylor landed awkwardly after going up for a block early in Set 1. She was taken off the court with Minnesota leading 2-1, returning on crutches with her left ankle encased in ice after the first set.
In a post-match interview, Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said that Taylor told him she “heard a crack” when she fell.
It was the second consecutive season that the Golden Gophers (27-4) eliminated the Rainbow Wahine (23-6) from the postseason. Last year, it came in the regional final in Ames, Iowa.
Tonight, Minnesota extended the longest active home-winning streak in the country to 34, improving to 15-0 at the Sports Pavilion this season. As the highest seed remaining in the pod after the second round, the Gophers will host the regional next Thursday and Saturday.
Hawaii, its 11 match-winning streak snapped, was led by senior hitter Annie Mitchem’s 13 kills and 11 from junior McKenna Granato. Junior libero Savanah Kahakai finished with 17 digs, giving her 1,001 for career.
Senior hitter Sarah Wilhite led Minnesota with 13 kills. Senior middle Paige Tapp had 10 kills with no errors and junior middle Molly Lohman also had 10.
Taylor finishes her career with 1,377 kills, ranking her 11th on UH’s career list.