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Cougars sweep through home opener

The University Minnesota, Morris volleyball team posted a pair of 3-0 wins in the first home match of the season Friday.

The Cougars defeated the Comets of Mayville State 3-0 (25-10, 26-24, 25-21) in the first match of the day's triangular, and closed the day beating Mount Marty 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-19).

The opening set was all UMM as they would not trail at all. The Cougars took a 4-0 lead to start the set and would not look back, eventually winning 25-10.

The second set was a different story, though, as both teams would battle back and forth. There were nine ties in the second set, with only two lead changes. The Cougars were down early, but battled back from a six-point deficit in the middle of the set (11-17). Down the stretch UMM was able to end the set with a 15-7 run of their own.

The third set had the intensity of the second set, with the Cougars outlasting the Comets 25-21. The Cougars led the entire third set and allowed only one tie.

Leading the way for the Cougars in the first match was Stephanie Schmiesing, as her 15 kills led all players. Natalie Thomas added to her assist total, as she had 36 against Mayville State, and now has 169 out of Morris' 189 total assists.

With the win over Mayville State, the Cougars defeat the Comets for the first in the Braegelmann era, and the first since 2003.

Morris continued their success from the first match, winning the first set of the second, 25-21. Matched up with Mount Marty, the Lancers were able to tie the game at 12-12, before the Cougars finished the set on a 13-9 run.

In the second set it was all Cougars again, with a score of 25-17, and in the third and final set of the night they won 25-19.

The Cougars had two players with over 10 kills against Mount Marty, as Kaylie Clark had 12 and Emily Auch had 10. Auch finished with a double-double in the day with 11 digs.

"Emily has done a nice job for us," head coach Chad Braegelmann said on the play of Auch and the other freshmen. "We've had a bunch of kids that have stepped up."

  With the win, Morris is now 3-1 all-time over Mount Marty.

"We've been focusing the past week on minimizing errors, and making sure we are smart with the ball," Braegelmann added.  

The Cougars are now 5-1 on the season, and have the week off until they travel to St. Joesph to take part in the St. Benedict Holiday Inn-Vitational. The Cougars will play their first match against Simpson on Sept. 16 at 5 p.m.