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Cougars win six straight

The University of Minnesota, Morris volleyball team improved to 6-3 on the season after an 0-3 start. The Cougars have not lost since their trip to Springfield, Mass. earlier this month. With six straight wins, head coach Chad Braegelmann extends his tenure-long winning streak.

The Cougars cruised to a pair of victories Friday at home, defeating North Central University and Mount Marty College, each in straight sets. Then the Cougars ran their winning streak to six Tuesday, with a five-set win on the road at Macalester.

UM-Morris 3

North Central 0

Hosting a tri-match on the evening, UMM hit a season-high .426 in their opening 3-0 win over North Central.  The Cougars beat the Rams in straight sets winning 25-16, 25-10, and 25-13.

Leading the way for the Cougars was freshman Kaylie Clark who had a breakout game, finishing with 10 kills and a .409 hitting percentage. On the defensive end, Clark also brought up a team-high seven digs.

Adding to the stellar Cougar front line was Megan Theis with eight kills and a .545 percentage, and Allie Humphrey who banged down nine kills without an error while hitting .750.

Natalie Thomas ran the offense to perfection and finished with 32 assists and six aces on the serve.

After hitting a .231 in the first set, UMM came back to close with back-to-back sets hitting over .500, capped by a .591 effort in the clinching third set.

UM-Morris 3

Mt. Marty 0

After a break the Cougars returned to action against Mount Marty to cap the tri-match. Five players finished with six or more kills as UMM defeated the Lancers 25-15, 25-23, and 25-20.  The Cougars were in control all night, finishing the match in just over an hour.

Clark again was the pacesetter, collecting 13 kills against just two errors while hitting .423. She was outdone, though, by Jordan Olerud who hit .467 with eight kills and just one error. Olerud also finished with nine digs and one ace in an impressive all-around performance.

Theis and Stephanie Schmiesing each finished with nine kills and Humphrey notched six in the win. Thomas bettered her game-one performance with 43 kills against the Lancers, keeping the Cougar engine running smooth all night

Mount Marty was able to connect for a .387 hitting percentage in a narrow game-two loss, but in sets one and three the Cougars kept the opponent below the .150 mark, including a -.121 in the opening set.

UM-Morris 3

Macalester 2

The Cougars ran their winning streak to six Tuesday, with a five-set win on the road at Macalester.

The Cougars had won 14 straight sets (including four straight matches 3-0) after their 25-21 win in the opener, but fell 14-25 in the second.  UMM closed out the match with set scores of 25-20, 23-25, and 15-9 in the deciding fifth set.

The match was the first five-setter of the year for UMM, and just the fourth all season that went longer than three sets.

Olerud led four players with double digit kills, finishing with 15 on 38 total attacks. Schmiesing and Clark each finished with 11, with Allie Humphrey rounding out the front-line efforts with 10 kills on the night.

As a team the Cougars hit .159, but in their third set win they had a hitting percentage of .304 and recorded 18 of their 25 points on kills.

Thomas continued her strong play with 46 assists, as well as 17 digs in the back row.

Humphrey was again the leader in digs, with 24 in the match.  Olerud with 13 and Clark with 10, both logged double-doubles on the night.

The Cougar defense twice held the Scots to a single-set hitting percentage of under .100, including a .071 mark in the deciding fifth set, where UMM countered with 12 kills in 15 points.