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Cougar volleyball season ends in semi-final loss to Northwestern

The University of Minnesota, Morris volleyball team was defeated by Northwestern 3-1 in an Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament Semi-Final match Wednesday. The Eagles advanced to the championship match by downing the Cougars 25-17, 25-12, 23-25, 25-23. 

The Cougars finish their season 21-10, the third highest win total in school history.

Emily Auch led the Cougars with 18 kills and Abby Tietz was behind her with 16.

In the initial set the Eagles jumped out to an 8-2 lead and led by six midway through at 16-10. The Cougars attempted to come back by pulling within one at 17-16 after a Kaylie Clark ace. Northwestern rallied back, extending their lead to seven at 23-16. The Cougars were unable to recover losing the set 25-17.

In the second set NWC again jumped out early taking a 9-1 lead. The Cougars pulled within five at 11-5, but the Eagles kept pressing, extending the lead to 15-7. Northwestern won the set 25-12, never letting UMM get within seven the rest of the set.

Morris jumped out early in the third set 8-3 and kept the momentum going leading 14-6 in the set. The Eagles started to battle back and drew within four, forcing a Cougars timeout. Tietz had one of her 16 kills after the timeout, putting UMM back up five. Back-to-back kills from Auch gave UMM a 21-16 lead in the set. After a service error Auch had three straight kills making it 24-16. Northwestern scored four straight forcing a UMM timeout at 24-20. The Eagles kept coming, drawing within two at 24-22. Auch came through giving the Cougars the 25-23 set three win. Auch was responsible for the last six points for the Cougars.

The fourth set was competitive as both teams went back and forth early. The Eagles had a lead of three at 11-8 before the Cougars scored six of the next seven points taking a 14-12 lead. Northwestern tied it up on a couple occasions midway through the set, but the Cougars held NWC at bay. Late in the set the Eagles tied up the set at 21 forcing a UMM timeout. The Eagles took the lead at 22-21 before the Cougars took it back with two straight points. Northwestern tied it up on a ball handling error at 23. UMM was unable to keep the comeback going as two straight points gave NWC the 25-23 set four win.

Auch had a double/double adding 14 digs to her 18 kills. Clark had 19 digs leading the defense. Allie Humphrey had three block assists and three kills in her final match of her career. Michelle Hanson had three aces, six digs and an assist. Brita Humphrey finished her career with an ace in the UMAC Semi Finals