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Cougars improve to 6-1 with pair of wins

MORRIS, Minn. - The University of Minnesota, Morris volleyball team improved to 6-1 with a pair of wins Friday at home.

UMM got a 3-1 win against Mayville State (25-17, 20-25, 25-16, 25-23) and then won a marathon 3-2 win over Mount Marty (18-25, 25-19, 30-28,19-25, 15-12).

Kaylie Clark and Emily Auch each set career-highs with kills against Mount Marty with 21 and 19, respectively. Before the Mount Marty match Brita Humphrey was honored for reaching 1,000 digs, becoming the 10th Cougar to reach that mark.

The Cougars started out the first set leading 5-0 before Mayville State was forced to call a timeout. After the timeout, the Comets came storming back to tie the match at 13. The Cougars responded by going on a 6-1 scoring run, taking a 19-14 lead before another Mayville State timeout. After the timeout, much was the same, as the Cougars took the first set 25-17.

The second set began with the teams trading points until Morris was forced to take a timeout after the Comets pulled away 12-8. Morris called a second timeout after the Comets held on to their 21- 17 lead late in the set. UMM scored three quick points after the timeout, but the Comets won the second set 25-20, holding off the charging Cougars.

The Cougars started out the third set strongly, with two consecutive aces from Mandy Allman, but the Comets went on a 4-0 run to lead 4-2. The two teams then traded points until the Cougars broke free and took a 16-11 lead. Minnesota Morris had an 18-13 lead before the Comets made a push to make it 18-16 forcing a Cougar timeout. After the timeout, the Cougars scored seven straight points to take the third set. All seven of those points came from Comet attack errors, including the final five which were unforced errors.

Morris began the fourth set by scoring the first four points. After the Cougars pushed their lead to 9-3, the Comets called a timeout tying to break the Cougars' momentum. The Cougars held their lead at 12-6 until the Comets came back to close within three at 13-10. UMM held on to a 23-19 lead late, but the Comets brought it to within two, at 23-21. The lead was 24-22 in favor of the Cougars before a Comet timeout. An Aby Tietz kill sealed the Cougars' victory at 25-23.

Clark had a team-high 20 digs, five shy of her career high. Auch led in kills with 12, followed by Tietz with 11 and Alyssa Haugen with 10.

The Cougars kept their winning streaking going by defeating Mount Marty 3-2. Clark led the team in kills with 21, a career high, and Auch wasn't far behind Clark's mark with 19 kills herself, also setting a career high.

In the first set, the Mount Marty Lancers took an early lead of 13-7 before the Cougars started to come back, however the Lancers ended up winning the first set 25-18. Once the Lancers took the lead they never really looked back as there were only three ties, and one lead change in the set.

In the second set, the Cougars came out ready to win, as they took an early 6-1 lead. Mount Marty started a rally, but wouldn't be able to pull closer than three points, allowing Morris to tie the game back up at one set apiece. By the end of the second set Clark already had 10 of her 21 kills, leading the team to the victory.

The third set was a back-and-forth match up until the finish. The Cougars took an early lead of 12-5, but the Lancers wouldn't go away. They came back to tie the set up at 19 apiece, and eventually took short 21-20 lead. The Cougars came back to tie it up at 24, and the two teams went at it until the Cougars finally pulled out a win at 30-28 thanks to a kill from Auch.

The fourth set looked like it was going to be another good back-and-forth set, however with the set tied up at five Mount Marty took over taking a 12-6 lead, and eventually made it a 21-11 game in favor of the Lancers. The Cougars tried to pull back in the game, falling short of a comeback and dropping the fourth set 25-19, setting up a final fifth set.

The final set was back and forth the whole time, with the Lancers jumping out to a quick 3-1 lead, before Morris come back and tie it up and take a small lead. The Cougars went up 9-6 past the midway point of the set. The Lancers weren't done yet and came back to make it a one-point game at 13-12, before the Cougars ended it and picked up the victory 15-12, winning the match in five sets.