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Cougars remain unbeaten to clinch home play-off match

The University of Minnesota, Morris clinched a berth in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference volleyball tournament with a win over Bethany Lutheran on Friday and sealed a home play-off match with Saturday’s win over Martin Luther.

The Cougars improved to 19-9 overall and 11-0 in the UMAC.

UM-Morris 3, Bethany 0

The Cougars clinched a spot in the UMAC tournament with a sweep (25-12, 25-23, 25-18) of Bethany Lutheran.

Emily Auch had a near double-double with nine kills and 11 digs. The Cougars hit .248 as a team.

Morris had a 10-5 lead early in the first set and used a 7-3 run to take a 17-9 lead late in the set. The lead grew to as large as 13 at 23-10 before they took the set 25-12.

In the second set Bethany took a five-point lead, at 15-10. Trailing 18-12 late in the set, the Cougars rallied and pulled within two at 21-19. The Vikings led 23-20 before the Cougars got back-to-back kills bringing them within one at 23-22. Three straight aces by Kaylie Clark gave Morris the set, 25-23.

It was all UMM early in the third set taking a 6-0 lead and then extending it to 18-5 late in the set. Bethany Lutheran tried to come back and pulled within six, but could not get any closer before the Cougars took the set 25-18.


UM-Morris 3, Martin Luther 1

The Cougars clinched a home playoff match with a 3-1 (25-18, 14-25, 25-15, 25-21) win over Martin Luther on Saturday.

Abby Tietz had a double-double with 18 kills and 13 digs while hitting .350. Clark had 26 digs.

Alyssa Haugen and Hannah Knott combined for 11 block assists in a very defensive match. The two teams combined to hit just over .170.

Auch had 10 kills and nine digs. Mandy Allman had 19 assists and Kayley Siekmann had 15.

It was a tight first set as the Cougars and Knights battled back and forth. With the score tied at 12, the Cougars rattled off three straight points, forcing a MLC timeout. Martin Luther closed the gap to one, but Morris responded by scoring eight of the next nine points, taking a 23-15 lead. Cori Becker ended the set with a kill, giving UMM the 25-18 win.

Martin Luther took control early in the second set and the Cougars had no response falling 25-14.

Clark had three straight service aces in set three giving UMM the early lead. The Knights closed to within two, but Morris put a strangle hold on the set thanks to an 11-1 run. The lead grew to as much as 12 at 19-7 before the Cougars took set three 25-15.

In the fourth set UMM held an 11-7 lead, but Martin Luther rallied to tie the set at 12. The set was a battle from that point on as both teams remained tied at 19. An attack error gave UMM a 20-19 lead and they ran with it, pushing the lead to 23-19 late. The Knights closed to within two, but the Cougars held on for the 25-21 win.