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  • Writer's pictureThomas Breach

SCSU Volleyball Upsets #10 SMSU in Four

Originally posted October 6, 2018

The St. Cloud State Volleyball program hadn’t defeated a ranked program on the road in nearly 20 years.

That streak came to an end on Saturday afternoon, as the Huskies (11-6, 7-4) took down #10 Southwest Minnesota State (13-6, 8-3) in four sets, 25-19, 25-20, 19-25, and 25-22.

The Huskies started off strong in the first set, holding the potent SMSU offense to hit a meager .184 on a 12-5-38 line. SCSU opened and closed the set on 4-0 runs, and never trailed by more than 2 points as they took the set 25-19. In the second set, the Mustangs found their offensive rhythm after moving to a 6-2, hitting .317, but St. Cloud State’s passers continued their excellent play in keeping the Huskies in system throughout the set. Scoring runs again defined SCSU’s dominance, as they picked up two 4-0 runs and one 3-0 stretch to give them a 25-20 victory. Southwest’s defense tightened up and the Huskies struggled to get into system in the third set, as SMSU earned their only set win, 25-19.

The fourth set couldn’t have opened any worse for SCSU, as they watched the Mustangs jump out to a 5-0 lead. The Huskies clawed back, again relying on their outstanding serve receive to side out on all but two SMSU serves after the 5-0 start. Micah Nier helped drive the Huskies’ match-closing 4-1 run, racking up three consecutive kills before a ball handling error gave SCSU the 25-22 victory.

St. Cloud State’s offense fired on all cylinders against an elite SMSU defense, beginning with Linsey Rachel’s career-high 21 kills on .327 hitting to go with 11 digs. Sophomore setter Maddy Torve recorded a career-high 55 assists, 9 digs, an ace and a block. She did a tremendous job of involving multiple attackers and avoiding double blocks, and it really shined with the Huskies’ middle hitter success. Nier terminated a season-high 11 kills on .435 hitting to go with 5 digs, 3 blocks, and an ace; while Marshall native Marah Mulso hit .368 with 8 kills, 3 digs, and 2 blocks. The two posted a combined attacking line of 19-2-42. Abby Templin added 9 kills and 4 blocks, serving as one of the key players on the Huskies’ defense.

Junior libero Clara Krenz moved to third all-time in career digs at St. Cloud State while racking up 24 digs, 5 assists, 2 aces and a kill. Taylor Olstad added 14 digs, and Rachel Houle picked up a career-high 11 digs.

On the SMSU side, reigning National Player of the Year Taylor Reiss went 20-3-53 for a .321 hitting percentage along with 17 digs and 2 blocks. Meg Schmidt added 16 kills on .303 hitting, and Angela Young had 10 kills while hitting .345. Libero Kaylee Burmeister led the Mustangs defense with 22 digs.

St. Cloud State returns to action on Tuesday to wrap up their three match road swing at the University of Minnesota-Duluth at 6:00 p.m. As always, the match can be heard on the KVSC Sports Stream with Thomas Breach on the call, with Husky Den Pregame kicking off at 5:45 p.m.

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