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NCAA volleyball: Ohio State bounces Gophers in four sets

Minnesota finishes with a 22-9 record.

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AUSTIN, Texas -- The Gophers volleyball program’s Hugh McCutcheon Era came to an end on Thursday when Minnesota dropped a four-set match to Ohio State in an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 match at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas.

The 10th-ranked Buckeyes beat the eighth-ranked Gophers 22-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-19, playing perhaps their best volleyball of the season.

Minnesota finishes with a 22-9 record.

Ohio State, also 22-9, advances to Saturday’s 5 p.m. quarterfinal match against the winner of Thursday’s match between Texas and Marquette.

McCutcheon announced earlier this season that he would be retiring as coach after 11 seasons in charge of the Gophers’ very successful program. He will take an administrative job at the U.

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“Congratulations to Ohio State on a match well played,” McCutcheon said. “I’m awfully proud of our team and thought we were really good in some spaces today. Unfortunately we just didn’t execute in other areas and came up just short.”

Big Ten player of the year Taylor Landfair led the Gophers with 16 kills, while Jenna Wenaas had nine and 14 digs. Melani Shaffmaster had 39 assists and eight digs, and CC McGraw paced the backcourt with 17 digs.

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Taylor Landfair

“It was such a blessing to be able to come back this year and have one more opportunity with my teammates,” McGraw said. “To be able to go to work with this group and learn from Hugh and our amazing coaching staff for another year was amazing. It wasn’t the outcome we wanted today, but besides that, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love this team.”

As a team, Minnesota hit .173 with 45 kills, 12 team blocks, 49 digs and four aces. Ohio State hit .298 with 67 kills, eight team blocks, 53 digs and three aces.

Emily Londot led the Buckeyes with a career-high 29 kills.

McCutcheon took Minnesota teams to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 in each of the past eight seasons, and advanced his teams to the Final Four three times, in 2015, 2016 and 2019.

His final record with Minnesota is 277-74. His final NCAA Tournament record is 28-10

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