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No. 1 Gophers win 10th straight

The top-ranked University of Minnesota volleyball team (11-1) won its fourth match in four days, as it defeated Cincinnati (5-6) in three games by scores of 30-24, 30-14, 30-19 on Monday at the Sports Pavilion in its final non-conference match of the regular season. Minnesota is now 4-0 in four matches as the No. 1 team in the nation.

With the win, the Golden Gophers match their longest winning streak of the 2003 season with 10 straight victories. Minnesota has won 10 straight matches or more on seven occasions during Mike Hebert's eight-plus seasons with the program.

Coming off North Carolina Tournament MVP honors, Erin Martin (Ames, Iowa) picked up right where she left off this weekend by hitting .414 (14-2-29) and tallying a match-high 14 kills. Martin also had four blocks in the match. Trisha Bratford (Reseda, Calif.) also had double-figure kills with 10 for the match. Bratford added two solo blocks as well.

Paula Gentil (Forteleaza Ceara', Brazil) tied a career-high with four service aces, all of which came in game two. Gentil also had a match-high 15 digs for Minnesota. Lindsey Taatjes (Prinsburg, Minn.) also finished with four kills, 23 assists, nine digs and three blocks.

"Both teams were playing their fourth match in four days," said Hebert. "So I expected fatigue to possibly play a factor. I think we were a little sluggish in the first game, but we picked it up and played better in game's two and three. We set a goal to have a lot of success in our pre-conference schedule to set things up down the line for having a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. Now that we have accomplished that goal, it is time to set our sights on trying to succeed in an incredibly tough and competitive Big Ten Conference."

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Minnesota will open the Big Ten season on Friday at 7 p.m. against Michigan State. The Golden Gophers will also play Michigan on Saturday at 7 p.m.

USA TODAY/CSTV

Top 25 Coaches Poll

POLL #3: Sept. 20, 2004

Points Record Lst; wk

1. Minnesota (43 1st votes) 1,590 10-1 1

; 2. Southern California (13) 1,539 5-1 2

; 3. Washington (6) 1,469 8-0 3

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; 4. Penn State (2) 1,383 9-0 5

; 5. Florida 1,380 8-1 4

; 6. Hawaii 1,330 8-0 7

; 7. Nebraska (1) 1,239 7-1 8

; 8. UC Santa Barbara 1,119 6-0 10

; 9. Colorado State 1,096 8-1 11

; 10. UCLA 1,074 7-2 6

; 11. Texas A&M 908 6-2 12

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; 12. Stanford 877 7-2 13

; 13. Illinois 845 8-1 9

; 14. Arizona 772 8-2 15

; 15. Louisville 657 8-1 17

; 16. California 633 5-3 14

; 17. Santa Clara 539 7-2 19

; 18. Long Beach State 454 8-0 21

; 19. Kansas State 371 6-4 16

; 20. Ohio State 328 10-0 25

; 21. Kansas 257 9-1 24

; 22. Texas 235 9-0 NR

; 23. Utah 177 7-2 NR

; 24. Tennessee 121 9-1 22

; 25. Colorado 106 6-3 NR

; Others receiving points and listed on two or more ballots: Pepperdine 100, Florida A&M; 93, San Diego 78, Saint Mary?s (Calif.) 70, Loyola Marymount 63, Michigan 56, Ohio 56, UC Irvine 44, Rice 19, Wisconsin 13, Georgia Tech 12, Loyola-Chicago 9, South Carolina 5, Western Kentucky 2.

Dropped Out: Pepperdine (18), Loyola Marymount (20), San Diego (23)

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