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Cougars get back to winning with sweep at Macalester

The University of Minnesota, Morris volleyball team got their first win of the season over a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team, posted their fourth 3-0 sweep of the season, and won their first true road match of the year at Macalester Sept. 20.

It was no easy task though, as the two of the three sets went past 25 points, including a marathon 30-28 third set. Morris won the first set 26-24, with the second coming as a 25-17 win.

The Cougars hit .255 as a team against Macalester, their third best performance of the season. Leading the offensive attack was freshman Emily Auch, whose 14 kills and .417 attack percentage were each game and career highs.

Steph Schmiesing added nine kills with a .368 attack percentage, while also adding five block assists. Kaylie Clark and Allie Humphrey each finished with seven kills, and reigning UMAC Defensive Player of the Week, Hannah Knott rounded out the leaderboard with six kills, along with her seven total blocks.

The two teams battled back and forth in each the first and third set, with the Cougars clinging to a lead in the first, and battling back from a deficit in the third. In the second, the Cougars cruised, scoring the first three points and never looking back. Back-to-back points from the Scots midway through the second brought the score within three at 13-10, but the Cougars answered by scoring eight of the next 10 points to take a 21-12 lead on their way to the win.

The first was a different story, though, as the Scots scored four of the first five points, and led 6-2 before the Cougars settled down. After several lead changes and scoring runs from each team, a Macalester ace tied the score at 22-22. Schmiesing and Auch then teamed up to score the Cougars' final four points to secure the win.

In the third, neither team led by more than two, until four straight Scot points gave the hosts the lead at 13-8. The Cougars countered with a 6-1 run to pull back even at 14-14, capped by the first career ace from Hannah Teerhar.

Late in the match, the Cougars took control with three straight points to lead 22-20, but Macalester came back, taking four of the next five and looked to hold off elimination, leading 24-23. Morris got a huge kill from Auch to tie the score back up, and used a Scot attack error to regain the lead.

The teams traded points as the score continued to climb, until a Humphrey kill, and Knott and Natalie Thomas block finally ended the set and match.