Springer’s Big Night Leads USF Past Augie in NSIC Volleyball

Springer's Big Night Leads USF Past Augie in NSIC Volleyball

USF Recap

SIOUX FALLS- The University of Sioux Falls volleyball team earned a much earned win on Tuesday when they faced in-city rival Augustana at the Stewart Center. It took five sets, but the Cougars emerged victorious (25-15, 25-23, 18-25, 18-25, 15-10) behind a career night by senior KaSandra Springer.

Springer in the first set hit .714 (5K-0E-7TA) and finished the night with a .447 hitting average (25K-4E-47TA). The 25 kills for Springer is a career-best, usurping her 20-kill performance earlier in the year against Northern State. Head coach Joel McCartney had a lot to say about Springer and her leadership, saying “offensively, but in her voice and just the way she plays the game. Such a spectacular athlete and made so many diving plays. The little things that pick a team up and give them the right type of energy, but what goes unseen with her a lot of times is how smooth she is in the first touch and getting us into systems with her passing and serving, and she was on point with that tonight.

The Cougars will now have until Friday to rest and get ready for Minnesota Crookston to come to town for a 6 p.m. first serve.

In the first set, the Cougars pounced on their opportunities, going on a 11-2 run early in the set to take a commanding 16-6 lead over the Vikings. An 8-3 run for the Cougars sealed the 25-15 set one win for USF.

The Vikings were able to start the second set strong, getting ahead of the Cougars 8-4, but the Cougars answered back with a 6-1 run to take a 10-9 lead and started a dogfight that included 11 ties and seven lead changes. The Vikings tied the Cougars at 23 a piece, but a kill by freshman Brooklynne Albrecht and a Viking attack error gave the Cougars all they needed to take a 2-0 match lead into intermission.

The Cougars got the third set tied 9-9 after falling behind as much as 7-4, but the Vikings found a groove, building up to a 22-15 lead. The Cougars got three points back from the Vikings to make it a 22-18 game, but the Vikings answered back with three points of their own to avoid the straight set sweep.

The Vikings would ride their third set momentum in the fourth set, racing to a 12-6 lead that proved insurmountable for the Cougars. With a deficit of 24-13, the Cougars showed resiliency, rattling off a 5-0 run before the Vikings got the final point of the set to tie the match 2-2.

In the decisive fifth set, the Vikings jumped to an early 4-2 lead, but the Cougars came out swinging with an 8-0 run to go ahead 10-4. With a 12-10 lead, Springer recorded a kill to get a two-point advantage before Albrecht and junior Kenzie Byers were lights out at the net, recording back-to-back block assists.

“We thought the keys were going to be the kind of pressure that we put on [Augustana] from the very beginning part of the match, and we did that with full force and a great game plan to execute enough margin to create this tempo for the match,” Coach McCartney said. “The problem with that was that we were starting to slip away from that in the second set, and the wheels come off just a little bit with our confidence. And a credit to Augustana. A great opponent. It’s been a great rivalry through the years. It seems to always come down to a fifth set.”

Augie Recap

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Augustana volleyball team fought back after falling down 2-0 to force a fifth set but would fall to Sioux Falls 15-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-18, 10-15 inside the Stewart Center on Tuesday night.

The Vikings struggled in the first set, only accounting for five kills in a 25-15 first set loss. In the second frame, Augustana found some momentum early on, taking a 4-1 lead but USF used a 5-1 run to take the lead at 10-9. The rest of the set was a battle for both teams as there were 11 ties and seven lead changes. USF used a late push to take the second set 25-23.

In the third stanza, the Vikings took charge after a slow start to take a 16-12 lead and a 22-15 lead before Payton Rosendahl sealed the deal with a hammer to take the 25-18 set three victory.

The fourth set was all Vikings as they didn’t trail once. Augustana used a hot start to take a 10-6 lead and later a 21-11 lead after a 7-1 run. After stopping a late rally by the Cougars the Vikings took the 25-18 fourth set win to force a winner take all fifth set.

The fifth frame was full of momentum swings. Augustana used an early momentum surge to jump out to an early 3-0 lead before USF fought back to tie things up and take the lead 11-5. After a tactical move by the Vikings that cut the lead to 12-10 USF, the Cougars scored the next three points to take the fifth set and the match 15-10.

Maddy Guetter finished with a team-high 19 kills on a .306 hitting percentage while Payton Rosendahl recorded her first double-double of the season with 13 kills and 13 digs. Izzy Sommers recorded 10 kills and freshman Kate Reimann chipped in with eight kills on a .333 hitting percentage. Avery Thorson finished with a team-high 47 assists and 12 digs to record her eighth double-double of the season.

Lexie Langley added four aces while Abby Benson and Sommers sent back four blocks a-piece. Freshman Erika Bute finished with a team-high 17 digs.

As a team, the Vikings finished with 60 kills, 59 assists and four aces. Defensively, Augustana had 9 blocks and 71 digs.

“It was a tough loss tonight,” head coach Jennifer Jacobs said. “I thought we battled well in sets 3-4-5 but just didn’t quite close it out. We have to regroup for this weekend!”

Up Next 
The Vikings have a short week as they get ready to host No. 8 St. Cloud State on Friday at 6 p.m. and No. 7 Minnesota Duluth at 2 p.m. on Saturday inside the Elmen Center.

Categories: College Sports, Colleges – University of Sioux Falls, Sports, Sports Top Story