Northern State Tops USF
by KDLT Sports
September 28, 2013 9:42 PM
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (September 28, 2013) – Junior Emily Johnson hit the double-digit kill mark for the 12th time this season but the Sioux Falls volleyball team closed out a four-game homestand with a 3-1 loss to Northern State this afternoon at the Stewart Center.
Set scores were 25-20, 23-25, 25-15, 25-22.
USF’s record is now 8-5 (1-4, NSIC), while Northern State improved to 10-2 (3-2 NSIC).
Johnson led all players with 15 terminations, while Michelle Ritland chipped in 10 to finish as the only other Cougar with double-digit kills.
Setter Alexa Reed dished 33 assists and also added five kills on seven swings with zero errors to post a .714 attack percentage.
Defensively, senior Andrea Odbert had 13 digs, with Abby Folk adding seven. Johnson and Kate Hart both dug out five Wolves attacks.
In the opening frame, the two teams battled back and forth with seven lead changes and 12 ties. USF was up 9-7 with a Reed ace and later regained the lead at 14-13 with another freebie, but the Wolves tied things at 14-14 and took the lead for good after a Cougar service error made it 18-17 in favor of the visitors. Late kills by Hart and Ritland kept the Cougars within striking distance but the Wolves claimed seven of the next ten points for the 25-20 victory.
Johnson and Ritland each racked up four kills in the set.
The Cougars bounced back in set two, taking the first point with a Johnson kill. Hart’s back-to-back aces put USF up 11-6 but the pesky Wolves rallied with a 13-7 burst to take a 19-18 lead and force USF to call timeout. With some coaching advice, the Cougars regained focus and snagged four of the next five points thanks in part to two NSU mental mistakes and yet another service ace. The Wolves cut it to one at 24-23 but a Reed kill finished out the set for USF, tying things at one each.
The Cougars were unable to find an offensive rhythm in the third set, accumulating only 10 kills, but adding six errors. The Cougars scored the opening point with a Hart ace for their only lead of the set. The Wolves led 10-6 lafter two straight aces before USF went on a 3-0 scoring spree that was capped by a Jordan Calef termination. The Cougars then ran out of steam mentally and made a string of mistakes that gifted four points to the Wolves. A Lovell spike cut the Cougars’ deficit to three at 18-15, but the Wolves closed out the set with a 7-0 run to win 25-15 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Ritland led the USF offense, finding the floor three times, while Odbert led the COO’s backcourt defense with a trio of digs.
USF rallied from being down by as many as four points early in the fourth set to hold a two-point advantage at 12-10. The Cougars then lost their way under a pile of unforced errors that allowed the Wolves to rattle off five straight points to move ahead 15-10. USF would tie it at 17-17 with a Reed kill but Northern State held on to take the final set and match.