Mustangs Rally After Slow Start Behind Reiss, Odens
SMSU to face Augustana in Region Semi's Friday
Taylor Reiss connected on a match-high 26 kills, while teammate Eisha Oden recorded 17 kills and hit .600, to lead No. 2 seed Southwest Minnesota State to a 23-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-19 victory over No. 7 seed Wayne State in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Region Tournament played at the Gangelhoff Center on the campus of Concordia-St. Paul.
Setter Megan Larson had the third most assists (63) in a four-set match in school history while also notching a double-double with 12 digs as well. Larson also moved into fourth place in school history in career assists (3,967) during the third set.
The Mustangs had four players reach double-digit kills as Sarah Parker (12) and Kaylee Burmeister (12) joined Oden and Reiss in an excellent night of hitting for the Mustangs. Oden’s 17 kills came on just 25 swings giving her a game high .600 hitting percentage while Reiss finished the evening with a .377 hitting percentage. Reiss now has the sixth most kills (524) in a single season in program history. Burmeister recorded her 12th double-double of the year, adding 15 digs in the Mustangs’ win.
Southwest Minnesota State hit .354 as a team and had 72 kills and 68 assists as team after getting off to a slow start.
SMSU jumped out to an 11-6 lead but Wayne State would respond. WSC rallied from an 18-13 deficit to earn a 25-23 victory in set one. SMSU suffered from four service errors during the set and had just a 58 percent sideout percentage.
WSC then built a 19-15 lead in set two, but SMSU rallied with nine straight points to take a 24-20 lead, before winning the set 25-20. Reiss recorded seven kills during the comeback run and finished with 11 kills in the second set alone.
The third set went back and forth to begin with the teams deadlocked at 10-10. SMSU would pull away with a 3-0 run to make it 13-10 and pushed further away with a 7-1 run to go up 20-12. SMSU won the final five points of the set which was finished off by a Cassie Kunshier service ace.
SMSU dominated the fourth and final set hitting .395 as a group in the set. The Mustangs never trailed in the set winning 25-19.
SMSU (27-5) will advance to Friday’s NCAA Central Region semifinals and will face No. 6 seed Augustana University (27-5) starting at 5 p.m.