Hugh McCutcheon coaches the Gophers

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Gophers' Final Four dream ends at the hands of the Ducks

Oregon loses in regional final to Nebraska

December 07, 2018 - 6:14 am

There will be no home-team women's volleyball Final Four.

The national semifinals and finals at Target Center will go on without the Golden Gophers, who were upset by Oregon in four sets in Friday's Sweet 16 matchup at Maturi Pavilion.

Oregon's season came to an end on Saturday night when the Ducks were swept by Nebraska.

Sweet is not the word the second-seeded Gophers would use for their Friday result, especially following a marathon second set that for a brief moment appeared to go Minnesota's way.

Thanks to what appeared to be a pancake save by former Hopkins standout Samantha Seliger-Swenson, the Gophers and the sell-out crowd of 5,187 celebrated what was posted on the scoreboard as a 39-37 win.

But Seliger-Swenson's lunging effort was challenged by Oregon coach Matt Ulmer, and game officials ruled the ball hit the pavilion court.

Point Oregon.

Instead of moving to within a set of a win, the match continued.

"Thinking that we had that in the bag, it was a really long, hard-fought set," said Selinger-Swenson, who was earlier named Big Ten player of the year. "We just had to get back in it, and try and bounce back from it. I guess it was disappointing because we don't get all the calls.  It is what it is."

The Ducks, seeded 15th, went on to capture the second set by a draining 41-39 score, then swept the next two sets.

"It's disappointing, obviously, for a lot of reasons," said Gopher volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon. "I don't know how the athletes feel but from my perspective, this group worked incredibly hard and I felt that they deserved a chance to compete at the end of this thing. But that's not going to be our lot in life, so we've got to deal with what is and we'll move on."

The Gophers finish the season 27-4.

Selinger-Swenson finished her career with 5,674 assists, fourth on the Gophers' all-time list.