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Gophers volleyball stunned in season-ending loss to Oregon

Minnesota was two wins shy of playing in the Final Four at Target Center.

The University of Minnesota volleyball team's national championship hopes are gone after suffering an upset loss to Oregon in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 on Friday night. 

Ranked No. 2 in the country, the Gophers were playing at home before a crowd of 5,187 people and jumped out to a 1-0 set lead before falling in three straight sets to No. 15 Oregon. 

The second set was filled with drama, including 16 ties and 11 lead changes before Oregon won it 41-39. In volleyball, the first 25 wins but a team has to win by two points. Minnesota and Oregon tied at 23-23 and then tied 16 more times until the Ducks put it away for the match-tying set victory. 

Minnesota head coach Hugh McCutchen, via GopherSports.com, said the second set loss was a heartbreaker. 

"But that's the way that it works out, and we got our hearts broken a little bit," he said. "It took us a while to recover, I think that was clear. The start of the third set would be indicative of that."

Oregon rolled to a 25-14 victory in set three and then finished off the Gophers 26-24 in the fourth set. 

The Gophers end the season with a record of 27-4. 

Oregon will play Nebraska at Maturi Pavilion in Minneapolis Saturday at 5 p.m. with a trip to the Final Four on the line. The Final Four will be played next weekend at Target Center in Minneapolis. 

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