Mustangs fall @ Concordia
by Mark Ovenden
September 14, 2012 11:04 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The No. 2 Southwest Minnesota State volleyball team began Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play with a loss in straight sets to No. 3 Concordia-St. Paul on Friday night, 25-19, 25-20, and 28-26. The loss was SMSU's first of the season as it dropped to 7-1 overall, 0-1 in the NSIC, while Concordia-St. Paul improved to 7-1 overall, 1-0 in the NSIC.
In the first set, the Mustangs were not sharp as the offense struggled with a .118 attack percentage and nine errors, while Concordia-St. Paul posted a .385 attack percentage and only four errors.
In the second set, SMSU eliminated the errors but couldn’t figure out the Concordia-St. Paul attack as Ellie Duffy blasted eight kills in the set to lead the Golden Bears to a 25-20 set victory.
Concordia-St. Paul stayed away from the middle in the first two sets and continued the strategy in the third set as SMSU was not able to slow down Kayla Koenecke and Ellie Duffy from the outside. Concordia-St. Paul outlasted a late SMSU surge in the third set to take it 28-26. The Golden Bears’ offense was efficient as they posted 51 kills on 50 assists and a .390 attack percentage with only 10 errors. Kayla Koenecke and Ellie Duffy led all match totals with 16 kills each.
SMSU had three players that managed double-digit kill totals as Devin Diedrich led with 13, Brooke Burmeister had 12, and Abbey Thissen finished with 10. Emilee Gutzmer finished with 38 assists and Rachel Westby led the defense with 10 digs. The Mustangs finished with 47 kills on 38 assists, 38 digs, and a .235 attack percentage with 20 errors.
SMSU will continue NSIC play tomorrow in Mankato, Minn. as they will take on No. 11 Minnesota State, Mankato at 4 p.m.