The Minnesota State volleyball team struggled to find their grove this weekend when they took on Concordia-St. Paul, Winona State, and Upper Iowa.
Despite winning their previous game against Minnesota State University, Moorhead, the Mavericks lost all three games.
On Halloween night, the Mavericks hosted the No. 6 Golden Bears and fell short of continuing their short winning streak. In the first set, CSP started quickly with a 7-1 lead. The Mavericks tried to push forward and gain more points, but Concordia-St. Paul took the set 25-19.
In the second set, both teams were able to bring the heat and keep the score even before Concordia-St. Paul scored 5 straight points to take a 10-6 lead. The Mavericks were able to gain some control and get themselves back into the set with a 5-1 run that led to a 22-21 lead late in the set. Even though the Mavericks battled to take the lead, the Golden Bears won 26-24.
After losing the first two sets, the Mavericks were determined to turn things around and try to win, but the Golden Bears brought too much of a fight for that to happen. The Mavericks started the set with an early 13-7 lead, but the Golden Bears slowly climbed their way into the set with a sequence of small runs but still trailed 22-15. Coming out of a timeout, Concordia advanced on a 9-2 run to tie the set at 24 and after going back and forth, CSP pulled together a pair of kills to take the set 27-25.
Senior Morgan Olson led the team with 15 kills, senior Ashton Lee and junior Alivia Garbe finished the game with eight and seven kills.
Junior Mara Quam recorded 20 digs in the game and as a team, Minnesota State listed seven blocks.
The Mavericks continued to struggle when they hit the road and took on Winona State on Nov. 2. The Warriors started out with a 6-1 lead, until the Mavericks acted in response with an 11-7 salvo to cut the lead to two points. Winona once again gained a lead over MSU and took the first set 25-20.
Set two began with a Warrior lead of 6-1 before the Mavericks came back with an 11-7 outburst to cut the lead to two points. The Warriors had the power for another run and with an easy lead, they took the set 25-20.
The third set began with both teams playing evenly and tying the game at 20. Even though the Warriors took advantage of the situation and built a 24-23 lead, the Mavericks stayed in the game due to a service error. With the game tied at 26, the Mavericks defense compelled back-to-back service errors, to win the set 28-26.
The Warriors started the fourth set with an offensive attack, which resulted in a quickly built lead of 12-6. Even with a late push from Minnesota State, Winona State rallied off the last three points, wining the set 25-15 and the match 3-1.
Olson led the team with 19 kills and Garbe added 10 kills of her own.
Quam rallied 26 digs and Lee blocked six shots.
Monday seemed like it would be the night the Mavericks would end their losing streak, but unfortunately their game plays weren’t enough. MSU took an early timeout in the first set after Upper Iowa took an early 6-3 lead, but afterwards, the Mavericks rallied to a 10-8 lead. This resulted in the Peacocks taking their first timeout. Upper Iowa evened the score at 12 and the rest of the set was neck and neck until the end, when the Peacocks won 25-21.
In the second set, the Mavericks fell behind 5-1 in the first few minutes of the game. They rallied back to a two-point shortfall before calling their first timeout of the set, trailing 10-6.
After the break, the Mavericks came out with a 3-0 run, but the team’s confidence was cut short when they gave up four consecutive points. This led to them taking their last timeout whe they trailed the Peacocks 14-9. The Mavericks came within one point before dropping the final two in a 25-22 loss.
The Mavericks played as if the third set was all theirs, gaining a 5-1 lead. The remainder of the set went back and forth, but the Peacocks won the set 25-21.
Olson led the Mavericks with 17 kills and Garbe tallied eight kills. Quam brought in 21 digs for herself in the game.
Minnesota State recorded six blocks as a team.
The Mavericks will travel to St. Cloud on Friday to face the Huskies. Following that will be a game in Duluth to take on the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.
Header photo: Minnesota State defensive specialist Mara Quam (11) hits the ball against Northern State at the Taylor Center Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 in Mankato, Minn. (Mansoor Ahmad/MSU Reporter)