Vikings Take Two-Time Defending National Champion Concordia To Five Sets In Loss

Augustana 0-5 In NSIC Play

SIOUX FALLS S.D–  Augustana Volleyball came into Saturday afternoon looking to knock off No. 3 Concordia St Paul (CSP) for their first win in Northern Sun Conference play. The Vikings gave the Golden Bears all they could handle, giving the Golden Bears their first set loss in seven games, but came up short falling 3-2 in five sets (25-18, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20, 15-12). The loss drops the Vikings to 5-8 (0-5 NSIC) on the year and Golden Bears to 11-2 (5-0 NSIC).

Augustana came ready to play, set one was competitive early with the Vikings and Golden Bears trading points to a score of 10-9 Augustana. Mistakes from CSP saw Augustana pull ahead to a 15-10 lead forcing a CSP timeout. The Vikings pushed ahead with a score of 18-12 forcing another timeout from CSP. Four kills from Izzy Sommers and Courtney Placealong with seven digs from Hanna Justesen helped propel the Vikings to a 25-18 first set win.

The Vikings and Golden Bears respectively traded points in the second set until the Vikings called a timeout when the Golden Bears were up by three (13-10). Coming out of the timeout the Vikings tried to chip away the three points they trailed, with her fifth kill of the afternoon Payton Rosendahl pushed the score to 14-17. Even with the help from Rosendahl, the Vikings could not close the gap and the Golden Bears sealed the second set win 25-20.

Augustana fell behind 6-1 early in the third set leading to a timeout from Coach Jacobs. Out of the timeout, a service error from CSP sparked Augustana, as the Vikings rallied to tie it up at 9-9 on a kill from Grace Haberland. The set progressed neck and neck as the teams were once again tied (19-19) when CSP called a timeout. The Vikings continued to pressure CSP to the finish, but in the end the Golden Bears proved too much for the Vikings in set three winning 25-23.

The fourth set picked up where the third left off with both the Vikings and Golden Bears trading points looking for an opportunity to pull ahead. The Vikings seized their opportunity off a kill from Courtney place, her 18th of the night, making it 14-12 Vikings. Shortly after a block from Rosendahl and Sommers lead to a CSP timeout as they trailed 16-12. The Vikings continued to come up with big plays to get crucial points. A block from Abby Benson put the Vikings up 20-16 and a  service error from CSP sealed the victory for the Vikings 25-20.

The Golden Bears found themselves entering a fifth set for the first time since their loss to Texas A&M Commerce on August 31st. CSP lead the fifth early when Augustana called a timeout at a score of 3-6. The Vikings rallied back to a score of 7-9. A tandem block by Izzy Sommers and Courtney Place followed by a net violation brought the Vikings within one 10-9. CSP proved too much for the Vikings with a few impressive digs to keep the ball alive to allow for a 15-12 win.

In the five set match against the Golden Bears Justesen set a career high with 22 digs, her previous career high was 21 vs Upper Iowa on Oct. 28, 2017. Place was one kill away from tying her career high of 26 kills in a match, she finished with 25 today.

The Vikings travel to Winona State Friday Sept. 21 to take on the Warriors at 6 p.m. and are back in action Saturday Sept. 22 at Upper Iowa at 2 p.m. to play the Peacocks.

-Recap Courtesy AU Athletics

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