The Minnesota State University, Mankato volleyball team split the games on their road trip this past weekend. They were able to beat the Bemidji State Beavers, 3-0, on Friday evening but dropped a hard fought match against Minnesota Crookston, 3-2 on Saturday.
The Mavericks swept the Beavers on Friday. The first set seemed to have gone by pretty easily for them. The Mavericks never went on any long runs, but scored their points in bunches. The final score of the set was 25-14.
The Mavs were able to continue their dominance in the next set and built an early 10-3 lead before the Beavers took a time out. They were never able to cut down the Mavericks lead following the time out, as the Mavs cruised through the second set with a score of 25-16.
The third and final set went a little differently, however, due to Bemidji State putting up a fight. They were able to build an early lead of 14-10 before the Mavs called a timeout. The score was 16-13, then it was a game of runs for both teams. The Mavs went on a 6-1 run to take the lead at 19-17. Following a Bemidji timeout, the Beavers went on a 3-point run to take the lead back with the score being 20-19. An MNSU timeout ensued, then after that they came right back with a 3-point run and took the lead again at 22-20. The Beavers responded with yet another 3-point run and took the lead back at 23-22. Then the Mavs scored 2 more to give them yet again a 1-point lead at 24-23. Bemidji would not go down without a fight though, and scored 2 more points to take the lead back again with the score being 25-24. It was the Mavericks who came out in the end as they were able to score 3 points with the highlight being the match-winning service ace by Jackie Jones. The Mavs finished the set, and the match, with a score of 27-25.
The Mavericks had the advantage in the stats column. They Mavs combined for 53 kills while the Beavers had 30. They also had more assists with 49 and the Beavers had 28. MSU also led in aces with 4 and digs with 61. Bemidji State only had one ace and tallied up 51 digs.
Sophomore Sydney Powell led the team in kills with 13 this match. Krista Hassing and Jones both contributed with 11 kills of their own. Sophomore Autumn Risch set up her teammates well this match as she had a match-best 45 assists. Senior Haley Fogarty was another top performer for the Mavs as she notched a match-high 18 digs.
MNSU then traveled to Crookston to face Minnesota Crookston on Saturday afternoon. They lost to the Golden Eagles in five sets.
MNSU was able to come out on top of a hard-fought first set. The Mavericks had a small lead for most of the set, but Crookston fought back and gained a lead at 16-15. The Mavs then went on a little 4-point run to take the lead back at 19-16, and finished out the set with a score of 25-22.
The second set was also hard fought by both teams as they traded off points throughout. Late in the set, the Mavericks had a 24-21 lead, but Crookston was able to tie the score at 24. They were exchanging points until the Golden Eagles finished the set with a 3-point run with the score being 29-27.
In the third set, MNSU started off fast and built an early 11-3 lead. Then the Golden Eagles clawed their way back to within two points. Both teams were exchanging blows like a boxing match. Late in the set, the score was tied 23-23, but then Crookston finished it out and won the third set 25-23.
The fourth set also went down to the wire. Neither team was able to gain a substantial lead until late in the set when the Mavericks went on a run and led 23-17. The Golden Eagles responded with an 8-1 run and taking the lead at 25-24. The Mavericks came roaring back and took the fourth set 28-26.
The fifth and final set ended up going to Crookston. They gained a 13-6 lead, and the lead ended up being too steep for the Mavs to overcome. The Golden Eagles won with a score of 15-9 to finish out the match.
Minnesota Crookston led in every category except blocks in the match. They tallied up 64 kills while the Mavs scored 53. Crookston also had 60 assists and 82 digs while the Mavs notched 47 and 73, respectively.
Senior Krista Hassing led the Mavericks in kills with 18 and blocks with 5. Sydney Powell put up 13 kills as well. Risch led the Mavs with 37 assists and defensive specialist Haley Fogarty led the match with 28 digs.
After last weekend, the Mavs are heading into this week with an 8-5 (2-3 NSIC) record. Their next game will be on Friday, September 30 against St. Cloud State University. First serve will be at 7 p.m. at the Taylor Center. MNSU will then play the University of Minnesota Duluth this Saturday, October 1 at 4 p.m., also at the Taylor Center.