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Cougars drop pair at Springfield volleyball tourney

The University of Minnesota, Morris volleyball team lost a pair of hard fought matches Friday to Springfield College and Daemen College.

Playing the tournament host in their first match-up, the Cougars fell in three sets to Springfield. The Pride - who were receiving votes in the most recent AVCA top-25 poll - took the match 25-19, 25-18 and 25-18.

In its second match, Minnesota Morris fell 3-1 to Daemen College (25-16, 21-25, 27-25, 25-20), tying the match at 1-1 in the second set before dropping the last two.

"I thought we played with great energy," head coach Chad Braegelmann said. "I think we played hard and passed well, and did a good job of cutting down on unforced errors. In the end we just gave up too many big rallies that hurt us in each set. It seemed like we were up, and right away we were down. We have to be able to close it out."

Against Springfield, Jordan Olerud led the way with 10 kills up front and 12 digs from the back row. Kayle Cark added 20 digs in the match as well as three aces on the serve, while Emily Irey ran the offense and finished with 12 assists.

Olerud came back against Deaman to knock down 16 kills, and was joined by Megan Theis with 16 as well. Mandy Allman finished the match with her first career double-double, with 14 digs and 13 assists. Nichlle Grage finished with a team-high 23 assists in the match.

"We got a bunch of kids a chance to play tonight, and were able to use some different line-ups."