MARSHALL, MN -

Augustana has knack for five set matches. No. 20 Augustana volleyball (8-1, 1-0 NSIC) increased their 5-set, match win streak to four after earning an upset victory over No. 4 Southwest Minnesota State (6-3, 1-0 NSIC) on the road Thursday night to open NSIC play.

Augustana started the first set well, trading points with the fourth ranked Mustangs but after a 6-6 tie SMSU began to flex their muscles. The Mustangs scored 14 of the next 17 points to grab a 20-9 lead before winning the set 25-17.

The Vikings put the set one loss behind them quickly as they earned the first point of the set and then added to it. After Augustana gave up the lead at 3-2, they took it back making it 4-3 and never looked back. After earning the 4-3 lead, the Vikings held on to it for the remainder of the match. They built their lead to as much as six before tying the match with a 25-19 set two victory.

In the third set Augustana started slow, falling behind 5-3 early. They battled through and tied the set at five before trading points until it was 13 all. Just like in the first set SMSU took ahold of the set a scored eight of the next 10 points. SMSU went on to win the set 25-19.
The Vikings went into the fourth set needing a victory to keep the match alive. They started in a 2-0 hole but quickly took a 4-3 lead. SMSU took the lead back at 9-8 and looked as though they were ready to go on another set ending run. The Vikings stood strong though and tied the set at 16. After taking a 17-16 lead Augustana never looked back, earning a 25-18 set four win.

Augustana entered the fifth set with all the momentum and it showed. SMSU won the first set but two kills by Kelsey Kaufmann and another by Brittany Cech gave the Vikings a 3-1 advantage. SMSU regained the lead at 5-4 but Anna Sykora spotted an opening and got the kill. After a 6-6 tie Augustana earned the next two points to take the 8-6 lead when the teams switched sides. With the momentum still on their side, Augustana was able to weather the Mustangs storm earning five of the final six points and pulling off the upset of No. 4 Southwest Minnesota state 15-11.

Viking of the Match
Lauren Waite entered the match late in the first set and provided the Vikings with the spark they were looking for with three kills and an ace in the set. Waite ended the night with 12 kills on 23 attacks while also earning and ace and three digs.

Viking Notables
• This is the first time since 2012 that Augustana has began NSIC play with a win
• This is the Vikings second win over an AVCA Top-5 team this season
• Augustana is now 28-28-1 all-time against Southwest Minnesota State.
• The last time the Vikings defeated SMSU was also on the road in 5-sets back on Sept. 23, 2014
• Sykora set a new career-high with 54 assists
• Brittany Cech earned her second double-double of the season with 10 kills and 12 digs
• Tahlyr Banks had a season-high 30 digs
• Three Vikings had double-digit kills: Courtney Place (14), Waite (12), Cech (10)
• Three Vikings had double-digit digs: Banks (30), Hanna Justesen (12) and Cech (12)
• Bailey Koch had four blocks

Up Next
Augustana will host the University of Sioux Falls on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the Elmen Center. Augustana will be welcoming back its alumni on Saturday night. The Vikings will have their alumni introduce themselves between the first and second sets of their match.

Be sure to bring NEW socks to the USF match and help us earn a point in the Mayor's Cup Challenge. The school with the most socks at the end of the 2016-17 season will earn one point towards the cup. All socks are donated to Samaritan's Feet which gives children in the U.S. and around the world new socks.