April 16, 2021

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Cougar volleyball receives votes in initial AVCA poll

UMM Sports Information

The University of Minnesota Morris volleyball team received votes in the first American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll of the season on Wednesday, Feb. 24. The Cougars ended with nine points in the national poll and were the second-highest vote getter among UMAC programs.

Coming off a 16-12 season and a three-way tie for the UMAC regular season title a year ago, Minnesota Morris returns three of its four leaders in kills from last season in Brenna Tinjum (2.82 kills/set), Tori Everson (2.75 kills/set) and Mia Frick (2.27 kills/set). While the Cougars will have to replace the contributions of setter Layne Herrmann, they will also benefit with libero Alyssa Ukestad (4.86 digs/set) and middle blocker Kennedy Geller (0.79 blocks/set) back to cause problems for opponents from the defensive side of the equation.

The Cougars are scheduled for an eight-match regular season that opens with home matches on March 6 (Wisconsin-Superior) and March 13 (Bethany Lutheran). The UMAC Tournament will be split this season with the top four seeds playing for the right to be called conference champions, while the Nos. 5-9 seeds will play out a consolation bracket. The tournament begins on April 5 with the 8- and 9-seeds competing for a spot in the consolation bracket. Both sets of semifinals will be on April 8 and then four more matches will be played on April 10 with a championship game, a third-place match, a consolation championship, and a seventh-place match.

Similarly to basketball season, no spectators will be allowed at home Minnesota Morris matches. UMN Morris will monitor regional and national trends while continuing to assess this decision in the coming weeks. All home matches during the season will be shown on the Cougar Sports Network and most away matches will also be covered by those respective institutions