Minnesota Morris came back from a 2-sets-to-1 deficit to down UW-Superior in a five-set thriller Wednesday, Oct. 31 in a UMAC semifinal match, in Superior. The Cougars advance to their sixth straight meeting with Northwestern in the UMAC championship match.
The two teams split their regular season meetings with the Cougars winning a four-set match 11 days ago, in Morris. UMM used that momentum to get off to a good start Wednesday. The Cougars jumped off to a 10-4 lead in the first, following a three-point spurt that featured kills from Tori Everson and Rachel Mathias and a service ace from Sierra Nori. UWS pulled within 17-14 until a 4-1 Cougar run crept the lead back to 21-15. A Layne Herrmann sneak kill closed out the first set, 25-19, in favor of the Cougars.
The Yellowjackets took the next two sets by identical, 25-21, scores to take a 2-sets-to-1 edge.
The Cougars were not ready to go home as they took the fourth set, 25-16, to force a decisive fifth.
UMM trailed 5-3 early on until a Mathias kill and an Everson aced tied it at 5-5. Later, tied at -8, the Cougars used a 4-0 run to take control. A Brenna Tinjum kill and an Allison Yang ace started the spurt. UWS pulled within 13-11 until a Mia Frick kill and a UWS error gave the Cougars the come-from-behind win.
Herrmann had a monster night on Halloween with 54 assists, eight digs, and five kills. Everson recorded a double-double with 19 kills and 10 digs. Tinjum had a near double-double with 13 kills and nine digs. Alyssa Ukestad led with 30 digs.
Minnesota Morris (21-11) advances to face Northwestern in the championship at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in St. Paul.