The Minnesota State University volleyball team saw their season come to an end at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) tournament. They were on fire towards the end of their regular season, winning seven of the last eight matches to propel them into the tournament. They came into the conference tournament as the final eighth seed and had to face top-seeded Concordia-St. Paul on November 16 at St. Paul.
This match, unfortunately, was not much of a contest. The Golden Bears swept the Mavericks 3-0 with force. On the first set of the match, Concordia jumped out to an early 6-1 lead. Following a Mavericks timeout, it appeared to be much of the same game. Concordia would have little two or three-score runs that ended up taking its toll on the opponent. MNSU’s next timeout came when they were down 20-10, but after that, there was no comeback and the Golden Bears won the first set 25-12.
The next set was closely contested by the Mavs for the majority of the match. The two teams were exchanging points up until the first timeout called by the Mavericks. The score was 14-13 in favor of Concordia, but following the timeout Concordia broke off into a 7-1 run and expanded the lead to 21-14. MNSU had an insurmountable deficit, and the Golden Bears won the set 25-17.
The third and final set started off much like the previous one. MNSU and Concordia were exchanging points and keeping it close until the 9-9 mark. That’s when Concordia’s depth outweighed the Mavericks. The Bears started off with a 7-0 run to jump out to a 16-9 lead. Then the Mavs scored one more point until the Bears shut down the Mavs for the rest of the set. Concordia won the third and final set by a score of 25-11.
Concordia had the advantage in every category on the stat sheet. They had 42 kills in the game compared to Minnesota State’s 26. The Bears had four aces while the Mavericks had two. Lastly, the Bears ended the match with 41 assists and 52 digs while the Mavs recorded 24 and 42.
Senior Krista Hassing recorded a game-high 12 kills for the Mavericks. Sophomore Autumn Risch had a team-high 23 assists and sophomore Maddie Keute recorded a team-high 16 digs. Another impact player for the Mavs was junior Jackie Jones who contributed an ace, a block, and six digs.
This loss puts their final 2016 record at 16-13 with a 10-11 conference record. They finished eighth in a loaded NSIC conference, arguably the toughest conference in Division-II. The Mavericks are still a relatively young team as five players were seniors this season. They should be heading into next season with some experience from the returning roster.