Volleyball tears up the Tiger Classic

Moving to 5-3 on the year, Minnesota State’s volleyball team picked up three wins and a loss at the Tiger Classic over the weekend. 

Their three consecutive wins to begin the tournament extended their winning streak to five games at the time, but the Mavs could not extend it to six, with a loss in their last game Saturday afternoon.

In their first match against Cameron University Friday morning, they swept the Aggies 3-0. The first and third sets were both won 25-15 by the Mavs, but the Aggies fought hard in the second, only to fall short 25-23 with a kill by senior Sophie Tietz.

Tietz was the team leader in kills with 10 and tied the team lead in service aces with junior Toryn Richards and sophomore Ellie Kline also each recording two. Richards and senior Emma Loveall both contributed eight kills, while Kline had a match-high 20 digs. 

In their second match, the Mavs weathered the Crimson Storm, defeating Southern Nazarene 3-1. The Storm took the first set convincingly, 25-15, but the Mavs fought back, winning the second 25-22 and the third 26-24. With a chance to clinch the win, the Mavs were beaten again, 25-22. However, in the fifth and final set, the Mavs scored seven of the last 10 points to win 15-12.

Loveall led the way with 15 kills and two aces, while junior Brooke Bolwerk recorded 31 assists and three aces. Sophomore Emily Kern also had a match-high six blocks.

“Today was a good day for us,” said head coach Corey Phelps in a press release posted to the MSU Athletics website. “We took care of business in the first match and cruised.”

As for the second match…

“It was ugly, grueling. We just found ways to stay in it. Sophie, Emma and Toryn did great things to fuel that five-set victory in the second match,” Phelps said.

Following two wins on Friday, the Mavs split Saturday’s matches against New Mexico Highlands and Fort Hays State.

Up first was another sweep against the Cowgirls. New Mexico Highlands stood no chance against a fired up Mavs team. The Mavs took the first set, 25-20, before dominating the Cowgirls in the second and third matches, 25-13 and 25-14.

Tietz and Richards both had nine kills to lead the way offensively for the Mavs, while three players stood out defensively. Kline had a match-high 15 digs, while junior Kiya Durant and Kern both recorded six blocks. 

Only the Tigers of Fort Hays State stood in the way of the Mavs’ quest for a perfect weekend. Unfortunately, the Tigers had their way, defeating the Mavs in four sets, 3-1. The Mavs did win the first set 25-14, but then went on to lose the last three, including the last two sets coming down to the wire, where the Tigers squeaked out two 25-23 wins to end the tournament. 

Junior Abigail Wolfe recorded 12 kills and two blocks in the loss. Other contributors include Durant with three blocks, Kline with 16 digs and Tietz with four service aces.

“We had too many uncharacteristic hitting errors that haunted us in the last match,” Phelps said. “Overall, we had a great weekend. We’re still learning how to make things happen, but we are looking forward to starting our conference season next weekend.”

The Mavs will now turn their attention to conference play, beginning with a road matchup with no. 11 Southwest Minnesota State Thursday.

Header Photo: The Mavs currently sit at 5-3, one win short of their total from a season ago, and we are only eight games into the season. With two tournaments under their belt, the Mavs are ready to take on the rest of the season. (Photo courtesy of Maverick Athletics)

Write to Hayden Lee at

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