Mavericks end season with two victories on road

The volleyball team just missed the cut for playoffs, finishing with a 15-13 record

The Mavericks volleyball season has come to an end, with the team narrowly missing the NSIC postseason. Minnesota State closes out the 2017 season fresh off of two match victories on the road in North Dakota.

The Minot State Beavers were defeated by the Mavs in four sets on Friday night (25-15, 25-17, 21-25 and 25-9). Saturday’s Maverick win came at the expense of the University of Mary Marauders; the second time MSU has swept Mary this season (28-26, 25-21 and 25-21).

By winning both of its final two regular season matches, Minnesota State finishes the year in 10th place for the final NSIC standings. The top eight teams in the conference advance to the postseason.

The two wins did put the team at a final overall record above .500 with a tally of 15-13. NSIC competition prevented the Mavericks from advancing to the playoffs. Minnesota State’s 9-11 conference record is three wins behind the eight-seeded Wayne State (Neb.) and the seventh-seeded Upper Iowa.

All but one set of Friday’s match in Minot, N.D. was won handily by the Mavericks. The opening frame was tightly contested up until the midpoint of the set. With the score at 13-9, Minnesota State expanded its four-point lead to 10 following a barrage of offense from the Mavs. Freshman Micayla Porter had assists on three of the six points scored during the run. Porter would end up with a staggering 11 assists in the first set when it ended with the Mavericks winning 25-15.

The Beavers managed to stick around for longer in the second set than the first. Nonetheless, Minot State’s production stalled when down 21-17 to the Mavericks. Three errors by the Beavers in the final four whistles allowed MSU to capture the set and take a 2-0 lead in the match.

The Mavericks’ only set-loss against Minot State arrived in the third of four sets. Roles were reversed this time as it was Minnesota State playing catchup for a good portion of the set. A four-point run by the Beavers would bring the score to 12-9 in their favor. Those points would end up being the determining factor in the third set. The Mavs could never jump ahead to complete the sweep of the Beavers, losing 21-25.

Seven kills by Maverick sophomore Morgan Olson was the premier highlight of the final set. MSU was nearly impossible to stop offensively. After opening the set with five-consecutive points, the team stymied Minot State with a season-best 11 unanswered points with the score at 16-9. The red-hot offensive run gave the Mavericks the match victory in the fourth set.

The season finale for MSU was played in North Dakota’s capital city of Bismarck. The hosting University of Mary Marauders fell to the Mavericks in three sets over the weekend. The result was the same as when the two teams played each other earlier this season with Mary being swept once again by Minnesota State.

Despite facing tougher competition as opposed to the match against Minot State, the Mavs were able to clinch the match in one less set. The first set went into extra play after the two teams traded spurts of scoring throughout until the Marauders gave up the set on an attack error. The final score was 28-26, Mavericks, although Mary did take a late one-point lead.

The second and third sets ended with identical scores of 25-21 resulting in Maverick wins. The team secured its 10th sweep of an opponent this season as it closed with the match victory over UM.

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