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Cougars drop second straight at Dakota State

The Minnesota Morris volleyball team dropped their second straight on Tuesday, Oct. 11, falling in four sets to Dakota State in nonconference play.

Dakota State took the match by set scores of 25-22, 25-19, 25-27, and 25-19, handing Morris their first loss to a NAIA team all season, as the Cougars have already charted wins over Mayville State and Mount Marty.

The Trojans jumped out to a 1-0 lead after an impressive first set, where they hit .316 while holding the Cougars to a -.033 mark. DSU had 18 kills in the first set, compared to just three for UMM.

The Cougars were held under .100 hitting in each of their set losses, with their best coming as a .255 clip in their third set win, where they had 16 kills with only four errors to win the set that went two extra points.

The Trojans were led on offense by three players in double figures, while Emily Auch was the only Cougar to do so, finishing with her team-high 13 kills. Steph Schmiesing added eight, while no other player charted more than four.

As a team, the Cougars hit near the .100 mark for the second straight match at .089, hovering near or below the standard for just the fifth time all season.

Natalie Thomas handed out 30 assists with a match-high four aces, while Kaylie Clark led the way on defense with 18 digs. Brita Humphrey added 13, while Auch pitched in 10 for her third straight double-double, along with her 13 kills.

The Cougars drop their second straight four-set match, after winning five of the previous seven by sweeps. They also drop the first two sets of a match for the second straight night and just the fifth time all season.

Things don't get much easier this weekend either, as St. Scholastica visits the P.E. Center on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. after sweeping the Cougars in Duluth in their last meeting. The Cougars and Saints are 1-1 on the year, however, as they Cougars won in their first meeting on a neutral court.

Northland also visits Morris on Oct. 15 at 11 a.m.