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Cougars sweep Crown in volleyball

The University of Minnesota, Morris volleyball team got back in the win column in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Action Saturday, taking a 3-0 win over Crown.

The Cougars improved to 15-11 overall and 6-5 in the UMAC.

The Cougars hit over .400 in each the first and third set as they took the match by scores of 25-17, 25-23, and 25-22. Morris hit .352 overall, overcoming a Crown squad that made just 11 errors while hitting .273.

Kaylie Clark once again led the offense, finishing with a match-high 13 kills while hitting her second best mark of the season with a .407 tally. It's the 14th time she has finished in double digits, while moving closer to the 500 mark in her short two-year career, sitting with 493.

Stephanie Schmiesing added 10, hitting double digits in her fourth straight match, while Jennifer LaRoque hit a career-high .429 with her seven kills.

Natalie Thomas was efficient as always in pacing the offense, handing out 37 assists to move to 2,504 in her career, also moving into third place on the Cougars' all-time charts.

The Cougars took 11 of 15 points through the heart of the first set to take a lead they would never lose, while a 4-of-7 run following a timeout in the second set secured the win.

In the third, the Cougars opened up a seven-point lead late and held on as Crown took seven of the last 10 points before an Emily Auch kill won it on the final play.

With just three conference games left on the schedule, the Cougars have been eliminated from a home playoff berth, and remain one game back of Martin Luther for third in the UMAC standings. The Cougars and Knights square off this Friday, but first Morris hosts its final home games, playing a tri-match with Presentation and North Central on Oct. 25. The first serve is set for 4:30.