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Wolves sweep Augie in NSIC volleyball



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After being swept by Augustana in its two previous meetings during the regular season, Northern State exacted some revenge Wednesday night as it was the Wolves’ turn to sweep Augie off the floor as the Wolves used a masterful performance to advance on to the semifinals of the NSIC Tournament Saturday.

Leading in set one 9-8, Northern caught fire from there on to go on a 17-6 run to close-out the set with a 25-14 victory. In set two, the Vikings came out early and looked as if they would easily tie the match up as Augustana scored the first five points of the set. NSU slowly chipped away at the Augie lead and tied the set at 10-10. The Wolves looked to have the set wrapped up as they led 24-18. However, the Vikings would not go away as they would score four-straight before Northern finally shut the door in the set to take a 25-22 victory in set two.

In set three, it was Northern’s turn to start the set hot as the Wolves led by five on multiple occasions early in the set. Augusta, much like Northern did in the second set, battled back and took control 15-10. The Vikings looked as if they might avoid the sweep as NSU trailed 22-18. The Wolves would come back though and scored the final four points of the set, three of which coming off Kelsey Chambers kills as Northern closed-out the sweep with a come-from-behind 26-24 set victory.

Chambers led the Wolves with 16 kills and a .387 attack percentage in the sweep, which was Northern’s 13th of the season. Chambers recorded her seventh double-double of the season as she also added 11 digs in the win. Chambers’ five block assists tied a career-high as well.

Tori Biach was also in double figures for the Wolves as she added 10 kills while Jussy Tuscherer added nine of her own. Whitney Kemink had a huge night defensively for Northern as she recorded a career-best seven total blocks in the win.

Drew Smith had a big night from her setter position as she also recorded her seventh double-double of the season as she tallied 38 assists and 15 digs in the win. Smith also added two kills. The NSU back row was led by Sami Nygaard’s big night as she led the Wolves with 25 digs on the night. Renee Hoffman added eight digs.

The Wolves hit .283 as a team Wednesday while Augustana hit .178. Northern also had twice as many service aces as the Vikings (6-to-3) while also having one-third as many serving errors (2-to-6).

With the win, Northern improves to 22-6 overall. Wednesday’s win was big not only to advance in the conference tournament, but Northern is also sitting at No. 6 in the latest NCAA regional rankings released Wednesday night. Augustana came in at No. 8 in the poll. The top eight teams in the region will move on to the NCAA Regional Tournament.

Northern moves on to face top-seeded and third-ranked Concordia-St. Paul in a 3:30 p.m. match Saturday. The Golden Bears swept the Wolves in the two team’s only meeting earlier this season. The loss snapped Northern’s nine-match winning streak.
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