Cougars gain sole possession of first in UMAC volleyball
The University of Minnesota, Morris had a pair of five-set wins on Saturday and in the process gained sole possession of first place in the conference.
The Cougar volleyball team in now 6-0 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.
In the first match of the day the Cougars took down Northwestern 27-29, 24-26, 25-23, 25-16, 15-11. Following the match with the Eagles, the Cougars took down Gustavus Adolphus 19-25, 25-22, 18-25, 26-24, 15-9.
UM-Morris 3, Northwestern 2
In a match-up of undefeated teams, the Cougars came back from two losses to defeat Northwestern and stay unbeaten in the UMAC.
Northwestern jumped out to a three-point lead midway through the first set. Trailing by five at 17-12, the Cougars rallied to tie the set at 18. The two teams battled back and forth from that point on. Morris had the first set point, leading 24-23, but could not close out the set. Morris ended up having another set point, but again could not come through. The Eagles failed on their first two set points before taking the set 29-27.
It was a tight second set but the Cougars tried to pull away, taking a 16-11 lead. The Eagles tied the set at 16, but the Cougars scored four straight to go up 20-16. Northwestern again rallied and tied the set at 23 before taking the set 26-24.
Northwestern gave away a lead in the third set after leading 14-10. Minnesota Morris scored eight straight points to take an 18-14 lead. The Eagles pulled within one on a couple occasions, but Morris held on for the 25-23 win.
Morris fell behind 10-6 in the fourth set, but then went on a 19-6 run to take the set 25-16.
In the deciding fifth set Morris jumped out 5-1 to force a Northwestern timeout. The Eagles tied the set at nine and took the lead at 10-9, but the Cougars rallied. Emily Auch had a kill to tie it at 10 and then tied it again at 11 with another kill. Two straight UNW errors gave UMM a 13-11 lead and then a kill by Auch and an attack error by Northwestern gave the Cougars the set 15-11.
Auch finished the match with 22 kills and 14 digs. Hannah Knott had a career high 17 kills and hit .571. Mandy Allman had 35 assists to set up the offense; in addition she added 13 digs. Kaylie Clark had 26 digs.
There were 32 ties and 13 lead changes in the match.
UM-Morris 3, Gustavus Adolphus 2
It was another five-set thriller against Gustavus, as the Cougars and Gusties went back and forth.
It was a tight first set until the Gusties got some breathing room after breaking an 18-18 tie. Gustavus scored seven straight to take a 24-18 lead and won 25-19.
Morris fell behind 7-3 early in set two, but rallied to take a 13-9 lead midway through the set. Gustavus tied the set at 15, but Morris scored four straight, taking a 19-15 lead. The Cougars iced the set away, winning 25-22.
Set three was tight as the teams were tied at 11 halfway through the set. The Gusties went on a 9-1 run and took control of the set, leading 19-12. Gustavus took the set 25-18 and a two-set to one lead.
Minnesota Morris rebounded in the fourth set. It was another tightly contested set, but Morris held an 18-15 advantage late. Gustavus tied the set at 21 before UMM had set point at 24-23. Gustavus tied it at 24, but two straight points gave the Cougars the 26-24 win.
Trailing 5-3 in the fifth set, Morris scored five straight forcing a Gusties timeout. The timeout did not slow the Cougars down and they took the set 15-9 to win the match.
Knott and Abby Tietz led the offense with 10 kills each. Allman had 23 assists and Brooke Decker had a season high 19. Clark had 31 digs to lead the defense.
The match featured 23 ties and 14 lead changes.