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Cougars let 2-0 lead slip in loss to St. Scholastica

MORRIS, MINN. - Despite a school record 52 digs from Kaylie Clark, the University of Minnesota, Morris vollleyball team dropped a five-set match with St. Scholastica Friday at home.

Abby Tietz had 25 kills, a career high and just off the top 10 in school history, to lead the offense.

Clark's 52 digs was just 10 shy of the NCAA Division II record and is the top mark in Division III this year according to AVCA. Clark had 35 digs after three sets and 48 after four sets which is also the highest mark in Division III this year according the AVCA website.

  Emily Auch had 19 kills and 17 digs for the double-double, she hit .354 on the set. Tietz hit .356 on the evening with just four errors in 59 attacks.

Minnesota Morris was behind the eight ball early in set one as the Saints jumped out to a 5-1 lead. Two straight attack errors including one due to a Jennifer Schmidt block got UMM within one at 5-4. CSS would extend the lead to 10-5 minutes later, their largest lead of the set. Midway through the set St. Scholastica held a 14-10 lead before the Cougars rattled off three straight points to bring it to 14-13. A ball handling error followed by a kill from Emily Auch gave UMM their second lead of the set, 16-15. The Cougars would never trail again as they were able to put the set away 25-22 finishing on a 7-4 scoring run. Auch had five kills in the first set for the Cougars.

There were 15 ties and nine lead changes in the second set. Neither the Cougars nor the Saints had a lead above two the entire set. UMM took a 23-21 lead late in the set to force a CSS timeout, but the Cougars did not flinch and were able to take the set 25-23 even after St. Scholastica won a marathon rally to make it 24-23 forcing a Morris timeout. Auch had six kills alone in set two, and Tietz had four. Clark had 12 digs in the second set and had 19 combined in the first two sets.

St. Scholastica took the 2-0 lead in the third set and never gave it up as all UMM could do was tie it up three separate times. The lead was never very big, getting no higher than five, but the Saints found a way each time the Cougars tied it up to win the set 25-23. Clark had 15 digs in the set to extend her total to 34 after three sets.

The Saints took a 7-4 lead early in the fourth set to force a UMM timeout. Out of the timeout CSS built the lead to 8-4. Morris got within one a couple times midway through the match, but CSS kept the lead every time UMM threatened. The lead grew to as much as seven at 20-13 and CSS never let UMM back in the set taking it 25-22 on a long overball that fell on the back line.

In the fifth and final set to 15, there were six ties and three lead changes. UMM had a 10-8 lead late in the set, but CSS responded by scoring five of the next six and taking a 13-11 lead. Morris could not bounce back as the Saints took the set 15-13 to win the match.