ARDEN HILLS, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Morris volleyball team battled closely with a team receiving votes nationally to open the season, but Bethel University was able to come out on top, 3-0, on Wednesday night, winning by scores of 25-19, 25-11, 25-22.
The first set featured 11 ties and five lead changes, but a five-point run by Bethel after a kill from Kassidy Siedow had tied the score at 16-16 put the Royals in charge the rest of the way. Lydia Nash and Maggie Jones led the way for the Cougars in the first set with three kills apiece.
After some early back and forth, Bethel took command of the second set, hitting a ridiculous .500 as a team. Kirstin Cotter had six kills in the second set alone and only three kills from Nash in the set offered up some kind of resistance for UMN Morris.
The third set was once again close, ending with 12 ties and seven lead changes before Bethel came away with the sweep. Minnesota Morris scored the first three points of the set and hung with the Royals throughout. Taking a timeout down 12-8, the Cougars scored four straight with a kill from Jones and an ace from Laura Wellbrock along the way. The final tie came at 20-20 on another kill from Jones before Bethel scored five of the final seven points to close it out.
Minnesota Morris heads to Iowa this weekend for a four-match tournament hosted by Central College and Grinnell College. The Cougars open with a pair of matches in Pella, Iowa on Sept. 3, facing Simpson College at 4 p.m. and Central at 6 p.m.