STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The University of Minnesota Morris volleyball team lost its opening match of the UW-Stevens Point Tournament on Friday to Edgewood College, 3-2 (17-25, 25-17, 24-26, 25-23, 12-15), but recovered late in the day to down Carleton College, 3-2 (25-15, 19-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-13).
The Cougars wrap up the tournament tomorrow by facing the host Pointers at 12 p.m. UMN Morris then returns home for a tri-match at Jim Gremmels Court on Sept. 18 with Buena Vista University and Concordia College (MN) making the trip to Morris.
Edgewood 3, Minnesota Morris 2
Edgewood got the last laugh in a match that was back-and-forth throughout, pulling out the fifth set by a score of 15-12 after falling behind, 5-0. Maggie Jones led the offense on the afternoon with 14 kills and a .433 hitting percentage along with a solo block and four block assists.
In the decisive fifth set, the Cougars jumped out ahead with a kill from McKenzie Newton and a kill from Jones, as well as a block from the pair. Edgewood tied it up at 7-7 before Kennedy Geller put UMN Morris back ahead with a kill and the lead crept up to 10-7 on an ace from Abbie Higley. That margin disappeared as the Eagles reeled off six straight, however, and the Cougars could never pull even after that.
By cutting down on their attacking errors, Minnesota Morris managed a .201 hitting percentage as a team in the match. Joining Jones in double-figures in kills were Lydia Nash with 12 and Laura Wellbrock with 11. Both Wellbrock and Geller also added four block assists.
Newton ended with 43 assists in the match, while Alyssa Ukestad notched 21 digs.
Minnesota Morris 3, Carleton 2
Down 2-1 in the match, the Cougars showed their resolve by dominating the fourth set and pulling out a tight fifth set to pick up their second victory of the season. Wellbrock and Jones each contributed 12 kills apiece, with Jones hitting at a ridiculous .579 rate in the match.
After a large win in the first set by Minnesota Morris, Carleton came back to comfortably win the second set and then come from behind to take the third set as well. Rather than pack it in, the Cougars responded by winning eight of the final 10 points of the fourth set to tie the match up at 2-2.
Carleton went ahead, 3-1, to start the fifth set but UMN Morris pulled even thanks to Paige Hinze and then took the lead for good at 7-6 on a kill from Wellbrock. Nothing came easy down the stretch and the largest Cougar lead of three points was cut to one on three occasions but Minnesota Morris never blinked and held on for a 15-13 triumph to close it out.
In addition to Wellbrock and Jones, the Cougars also received seven kills in the match from Hinze and Newton. Newton had 38 assists and nine digs along with three block assists. The back line of defense had 19 digs from Ukestad, 18 from Wellbrock, and 14 from Sydney Eckhoff.