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Cougars split home matches

The University of Minnesota, Morris volleyball team split a weekend of Upper Midwest Athletic Conference action at home, forcing St. Scholastica to five sets and sweeping Northland. The Cougars are now 13-8 overall and 5-4 in the UMAC.

St. Scholastica 3

UM-Morris 2

The Cougars saw their two-game lead evaporate Friday, as visiting St. Scholastica won the final three sets to come back for a 3-2 victory in an UMAC match.

The Cougars used the home-court advantage to jump out to a 2-0 lead on set wins of 25-18 and 27-25. From there, the Saints flipped a switch and ran off set wins of 25-14, 25-15, and 15-12, respectively.

In the deciding fifth set, Morris nearly seized the momentum back from St. Scholastica. With the Saints leading 11-8, the Cougars used three straight kills to pull even, and after a Saint point to end the run, Kaylie Clark came back with a big kill to tie the set again. But as they had after dropping the first two sets, the Saints regrouped to take the next three points and complete the comeback.

The Cougars hit .316 and .271 in their two wins, but had a high of just .138 in their three losses. The Saints meanwhile turned the tables and hit .303, .237 and .304 in their three wins. The Cougars out hit the Saints 65-60, and out dug them 88-83 for the match, despite the loss. In the fifth set, the Cougars almost overcame their seven errors to the Saints' none, as the set was tied 12-12 before CSS took the final three points for the win.

Morris took nine of the final 14 points for their first set win, before coming back to win the second. St. Scholastica led 13-8 early and 23-20 late, before the Cougars ran off four straight. After trading the next three points the Cougars took the final two on a kill from Clark and an ace by Natalie Thomas to go up 2-0.

Clark had a career night, posting the first 20-20 match of her young tenure with career highs of 20 kills and 23 digs. It was her seventh double-double of the season, as she led the way on both ends of the floor.

Thomas finished with 55 assists, setting four different players to double-digit kills. Emily Auch finished with 13 to go along with 19 digs for her fifth straight double-double, and seventh overall. Allie Humphrey also added 12 kills while hitting a match-high .333, with Stephanie Schmiesing adding 10.

In the third set, the Saints used three straight points to go up 11-7 and never trailed again. A 9-2 run later effectively put the match away, giving the Saints an insurmountable 22-12 lead.

The fourth set was relatively close throughout, but as they did the set before, the Saints turned it up a notch late, and took eight of the final nine points to force the fifth set.

The loss was not for a lack of effort, as the Cougars posted season highs for kills (65) and attempts (195).

UM-Morris 3

Northland 0

The Cougars swept the LumberJills of Northland Saturday, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process. The Cougars won by scores of 25-11, 25-18, and 25-22 in the three sets.

Morris was in control of the game from the beginning. The Cougars never trailed Northland with the score tied only three times.

In the first set Morris hit for a match-high .308 with 15 kills and only three errors.

The second set was more of the same story with the Cougar defense shutting down the LumberJill offense. Morris held Northland to a -.049 average.

In the third and final set, the younger players were able to finish off the win for the Cougars, posting 15 kills against six errors.

Schmiesing led the team in kills, but the top performance goes to Hannah Terhaar. Terhaar had a career-high 10 kills and seven digs.

Thomas continued her streak of 20 or more assists in a game with 23. Alyssa Tyler had 15 assists of her own and overall Morris had 40. The Cougars set a season-high for digs in a three-set game with 79. Brita Humphrey led the team with 13 digs, with Kaylie Clark at 11 and Anna Peterson with 10. Humphrey and Auch both also had two serve aces each.