Volleyball splits weekend against top-ranked opponents

De’Vonte Bradley
Staff Writer

The Minnesota State Mavericks volleyball team broke even with their games this past weekend against the St. Cloud Huskies and Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. 

On Nov. 8, the Mavericks took on the No. 8-ranked Huskies. The game started off slow for the Mavericks after they dropped into a 5-0 hole in the first set. 

The Mavericks were able to get back on track in the second set, responding with a 5-1 lead themselves. Because of their run, they were able to even the score at 21-21, led by senior Morgan Olson’s two consecutive kills towards the end of the second set. 

In the third set, it began as a head-to-head battle, with neither team letting up. After the set score being tied most of the time, the Huskies eventually took over, going on an 8-2 run. The Huskies would end up taking a 2-1 lead for the game. 

The fourth set was again a head-to-head battle. The Mavericks were about to take the lead at the end of it all. The set ended with two consecutive points, one of which was a major kill from the young star freshman Jessica Nelson, pushing to a 27-25 set win. 

In the fifth set, the heart of the Mavericks came into display. Despite trailing 5-2 in the beginning of the set, MSU was able to fight back and taking the lead at 10-9. 

By the end of things, MSU was able to win in five sets.

Senior Anissa Janzig made some key blocks to help them sustain their lead. To top off the run, Olson hit the Huskies with a major kill to extend their lead. 

There were no surprise performances from players like Olson, who had 24 kills and seven digs. Nelson was not far behind with 12 kills herself. Junior Mara Quam came away with 28 digs and sophomore Dana Schindler with 29 assists. 

MSU headed up north to compete against the No. 5 Bulldogs on Nov. 9. Unfortunately, the Mavs were not able to continue pickup another win. The Bulldogs built an early lead in the first set and did not look back, taking the set 25-18. 

The Mavericks played better in the second set, not allowing the Bulldogs to pull away. As the set winded down, it was tied 22-22 but the Bulldogs eventually took the set at 25-23.

The Bulldogs continued to their victory run in the third set. They completely took the Mavericks out of the game with a 25-11 set and match win. 

Despite the loss, there were highlights from Olson and Nelson again, who ended with 11 kills each. Schindler recorded 21 assists for the team as well. 

The Mavericks wrap up their regular season with two home games against Bemidji State and Minnesota Crookston this weekend before the NSIC tournament.

Header photo: Minnesota State outside hitter Morgan Olson (10) hits the ball during a game against Minnesota State University, Moorhead at the Taylor Center Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 in Mankato, Minn. (Mansoor Ahmad/MSU Reporter)

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