Oct. 31, 2005
On October 21, 2005 the visiting Buckeyes defeated Minnesota 3 games to 0 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is a day I will never forget.
Understand … walking into the Pavilion (Minnesota’s home arena) brought back a flood of memories and emotions. In 2004, with the advancement to the NCAA Final Four on the line, we faced Minnesota for the 3rd time of the season. Previously, we defeated the Gophers at home and lost at their place. This NCAA Elite Eight, Big Ten rivalry match up, was hyped up! Everything was on the line. A quick recap: OSU beats MN in game 1; OSU had game point swing in game 2 with MN trailing by 3 points. Bucks ended up losing the game and went into the locker room split 1 game a piece. OSU rolls over MN in game 3 and is now up 2 games to 1. MN squeaks out with a victory in game 4. It is now 2 games a piece. MN wins game 5 (9-15) and advances to the NCAA Final Four. OUCH! Though finishing the season nationally ranked 5 and with the NCAA Player of The Year in Stacey Gordon, we remember 2004 as the season “we could have gone to the NCAA Final Four”.
With this is mind, we walked into the Minnesota arena on Friday with a lot of memories and coined as the underdogs. The Bucks were nationally ranked 20 and our opponents 12. We had a statement to make! Our team wanted revenge badly! It felt great to beat them in the first two games, but in the locker room at intermission we talked about how the game was just starting. The match still could have gone either way. The third game started off good for us, but we slowly slipped behind by six points. Both teams inched closer and closer to 30, and the tension increased. It was one of those moments that one feels like her insides want to burst out of her skin. Marisa Main faked the middle blocker, leaving Nicole Britenriker wide open to “bounce” the ball in the middle of the court. We beat the gophers 30-28…What a Rush!!!
Though the victory didn’t stop the feelings of disappointed from the previous season, it was, in its own way, sweet revenge. This is a day I will never forget.
#16 Jackie Schardt