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CVB: Wolves Fend Off UMC

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MOORHEAD, Minn. - In an up-and-down, Jekyll-and-Hyde kind of match, the Northern State University volleyball team fought its way to a 3-2 (20-25, 25-16, 24-26, 25-22, 15-6) victory over Minnesota, Crookston Friday evening in a non-conference match-up as part of the MSU Moorhead Tharaldson Classic Volleyball Tournament.

The win, which comes on the heels of a 3-1 win over the host Dragons, lifts the Wolves to 4-2 overall ahead of next week's Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opener.

UMC, which has not beaten the Wolves since 2008, caught the Wolves flat-footed out of the gates.  The Golden Eagles took advantage of the Wolves' .095 hitting percentage in the opening stanza to take a 25-20 win. 

NSU bounced right back in the second set and committed just four errors on the attack to even the score at a set apiece.  Sets three and four, however, saw both teams struggle to maintain momentum and control over the scoreboard.  The Wolves had a game-point opportunity in the third set, but gave it back on a service error, allowing the Golden Eagles new life.  UMC took advantage with a Brittany Looker kill and a Booker/Katie Miedtke block that put them over the edge.

The Wolves traded mini-runs and two-serve stints with the Golden Eagles in the fourth set, holding on long enough to claim the set and force the fifth and final set.  NSU finally came to life in that decisive stanza behind a combined seven kills from Carli Peterson and Konefesi Vaisigano.

Vaisigano also went up for a solo block on a Looker attack to give the Wolves the set and match point, one of four total blocks for the senior.

Sophomore Paula Martins had another solid outing, leading all players with 17 kills and a .371 attack percentage at the net.  She also had ten digs and six blocks for the Wolves.  Vaisigano and Peterson each finished with 15 kills.

Freshman Morgan Richardson notched her second career 50-assist effort, dishing out 52 helpers in the win.  Senior Kaili Aiono had 27 digs amidst several long rallies between the two teams.

UMC got 13 kills from Looker and another 12 from Amanda Swann.  Libero Chelsea Wiesner had 36 digs for the Golden Eagles.

The Wolves close out their stay at the Tharaldson Classic tomorrow, facing off against Minot State in a 3 p.m. match-up before returning home on Tuesday to open NSIC play against No. 7 Minnesota-Duluth.

Courtesy: Jacque Scoby, NSU Sports Information

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