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Cougar volleyball team opens with road trip

The University of Minnesota, Morris volleyball team opened the 2013 season with a Midwestern trip. The Cougars played three matches on Friday, Aug. 30 in Grinnell, Iowa before hitting the road and playing two matches in Wichita, Kansas on Saturday, Aug. 31.

“This early season schedule will help us see what we have as a team, it will be challenging and productive," explained head coach Chad Braegelmann.

The trip gave Kansas native, Kaylie Clark, a chance to play close to her hometown and in front of family. After an early season trip to California last season, this trip is not as glamorous but Braegelmann did say, “I know that at least 1/17th of my team is really excited about this trip.”

The team returns Clark, Emily Auch, Abby Tietz, Mandy Allman, Hannah Knott, and Brooke Decker as regular contributors from last season. Braegelmann is also really excited about his newcomers, hoping they will add depth to a team that he thinks can compete for a UMAC Championship.

The Cougars went 2-1 on Friday to kick off their season on a positive note. The day started with a four-set loss to Nebraska Wesleyan 25-23, 12-25, 17-25, 20-25. The Cougars took on William Penn next and picked up a 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 25-24 victory. In the final match of the day UMM swept the host Grinnell 25-18, 25-17, 25-15.

The Cougars lost a heartbreaker on Saturday falling 25-20, 16-25, 25-22, 19-25, 11-15 to Friends University. Kaylie Clark had 19 digs as she played close to her hometown for the first time since high school.

Hannah Knott and Jennifer Laroque each had three blocks in the match. Mandy Allman and Kayley Siekmann combined for 54 assists, Allman had 33 and Siekmann had 21.

Abby Tietz led the team with 14 kills, Emily Auch was second with 13.

Addie Vancura, who was named to the Grinnell Labor Day Tournament All-Tournament Team, had 10 kills in the match against Friends.

“It was a good experience for us this weekend, we played some tough teams,” said Braegelmann. “We made a few mistakes at crucial points in the match, but it will help us moving forward.”

The match against Northwestern Oklahoma State was canceled.

The Cougars split matches on Tuesday, Sept. 3, defeating Macalester 3-1 and falling 3-0 to No. 19 College of Saint Benedict in the home opener at UMM.

The Cougars were led by Abby Tietz and Emily Auch offensively in the two matches. Kaylie Clark combined for 54 digs along the way.


UM-Morris 3, Macalester 1

With 34 digs from Kaylie Clark the Cougars picked up a four-set win over Macalester to get the 2013 home season off on the right foot. Emily Auch led the offense with 18 kills and Abby Tietz added 16. Cori Becker was also in double digits with 10 kills.

Morris got off to a hot start scoring seven straight points, after Macalester scored first, to take a 7-1 lead. Macalester drew within one at 8-7 and then tied the set at nine before UMM regained the lead. The Cougars took a 15-10 lead midway through the match, thanks to five straight points and the Scots could not recover. Morris took the set 25-18.

The second set started a lot like the first as UMM took an 8-1 lead early. Unlike the first set, the Scots could not do anything to stop the Cougars’ momentum and they would go on to win the set 25-13.

The Cougars made some lineup changes in the second set and the Scots took advantage, jumping out to a 7-0 lead. UMM cut the lead to two at 12-10, but Macalester responded pushing their lead back to six at 18-12. UMM could not get any closer than four, dropping the set 25-19.

The Cougars regained the momentum in the fourth set taking an early 7-3 lead. The Cougars kept Macalester at bay for a majority of the set, but the Scots pulled within two late at 19-17 and tied it 22 all after a UMM timeout. However, Morris scored three of the next four points to take the set 25-23, winning the match.


Saint Ben's 3, UM-Morris 0

The College of Saint Benedict struck first in set one and pushed their lead out to 9-4 early. The Cougars battled back and trailed by just one at 16-15 midway through, but CSB showed why they are 4-0 this season and went on a 7-1 run taking a 23-16 lead. They won the set 25-18 gaining the 1-0 advantage.

It was a hotly contested second set as neither team had a lead larger than four until late in the set. The two teams went back and forth early, and the Cougars had an 11-8 lead after a CSB attack error. St. Ben's tied it at 12 moments later. St. Ben's took the lead at 14-13 and pushed their lead to four at 19-15. The Cougars fought back hard and pulled within two at 22-20, but CSB would hold on for a 25-22 set two win.

The third set was very similar to the second set as the two teams went back and forth. UMM had the lead early, but CSB quickly tied it. The two teams then traded points throughout most of the middle part of the set until UMM claimed a 19-16 lead. St. Ben's tied it right back up at 19 and took a 23-20 lead. Morris hung tough and rallied to take a 24-23 lead, but could not close the set out and CSB won the match with a 26-24 set three victory.

Vancura had eight kills to lead the offense against the Blazers.  Auch and Tietz each had double digit digs in addition to six and seven kills, respectively.  Clark had 20 digs to lead the defense. Minnesota Morris held the No. 19 team in the nation to just .214 hitting on the night.

UMM Sports Information