The NSIC has some of the fiercest competition in Division II volleyball, and the Mavs were put to the test over the weekend with matches against No. 22 Duluth and No. 16 St. Cloud.
Starting off on Friday night, the Mavericks found themselves in an early deficit to the Bulldogs 3-1, but managed to climb back on top with a run of 7-2, making it an 8-5 game and forcing the top 25 team to take an early timeout.
The teams stayed close knit after that, going back and forth, when UMD started to regain and extend their lead with some very aggressive offensive plays.
The Bulldogs got a little bit more nervous when the score came to 19-17 in favor of UMD, taking another timeout to slow down the momentum.
MSU brought it within one point at 20-19, but the Bulldogs pulled away and took the first set 25-19.
In set two, the Mavs came out red hot, getting out to a 5-1 early lead, fighting for their chance to take a set off of the Bulldogs.
MSU maintained their lead for the majority of the set, getting out to a 19-15 lead.
That was when UMD got their game together and ended up tying it at 19.
UMD took control in the points of the set, getting their first lead at 23-22, and taking away the second set 25-22.
The Bulldogs took that momentum straight into the third set getting on top of the Mavericks with a 15-5 lead.
The teams went one-for-one with their points after that, giving UMD the 3-0 sweep over MSU.
That would not be the end of their tough weekend, as they traveled overnight to St. Cloud in hopes of coming out of the weekend with a win under their belts.
St. Cloud came out storming in the first set with an early 7-3 lead, and maintained that lead for almost the entirety of the set. MSU took control when they grabbed their first lead of the set at 18-17, but it didn’t last for very long as the Huskies took the first set 25-22 in what ended up being a neck and neck final stretch of the first set.
The early stages of set two stayed very close between the two teams with SCSU holding a 3-4 point lead into even the middle of the set. The Mavericks came close in pulling it within two points at 15-13, but the Huskies never budged, taking set two 25-21.
Set three was all Huskies, taking the lead and never letting go of it.
SCSU extended their lead to as much as 10 points, and sent the Mavericks packing with 25-16 set three win, and 3-0 sweep.
The losses dropped the Mavericks down to 11th in NSIC standings with an 8-7 overall record (3-4 NSIC).
Feature photo by David Faulkner/SPX Sports