Defending Champs Sweep Cougars
ST. PAUL, MN -- The University of Sioux Falls was swept Saturday afternoon in three sets by a dominant Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears squad (25-12, 25-17, 25-12) at the Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul, Minn.
The Cougars fell to 8-3 (0-2, NSIC) while the five-time defending national champions moved to 8-1 overall (2-0, NSIC).
Concordia topped USF in every statistical category except total blocks, where the Cougars held a slim 6-4 edge. The Cougars were also held to a negative attack percentage (-.011) for the first time this season.
A bright spot for USF head coach Joel McCartney was the play of freshman Natalie Minchow, who led the Cougars with five kills on six swings (.833). Sarah Kohler had four kills while Samantha Lovell chipped in three kills and two block assists.
Alexa Reed dished 17 assists and served up a pair of aces.
Defensively, Goedken and Andrea Odbert each dug out nine Golden Bear shots.
Concordia senior middle blocker Cassie Haag crushed the Cougars for 15 kills on a .500 hitting clip. Haag, who was recently honored as the AVCA Division II National Player of the Week, also stoned the Cougars for two solo blocks and three block assists.
USF jumped out to an early 3-0 in the opening frame after consecutive attack errors by the Golden Bears followed by an ace by Reed. They pushed it to 5-1 before Concordia went on a 6-1 run to tie the set at 7-7. A joint block by Reed and Lovell gave the Cougars an 8-7 edge but the lead would not hold as the Bears went on an 18-4 scoring spree that included service runs of five and six points, respectively, to clinch the first set 25-12.
Concordia took a commanding lead to start set two and it didn’t falter for the rest of the match, hitting a .212 attack percentage while limiting USF to a .161 clip to finish off the 25-17 set victory.
The No. 3 Golden Bears proved to be too much for the Cougars in the third set, taking down USF by a score of 25-12. The Cougars showed some fight early in the set, posting three straight points to cut the deficit to 6-5 but the Bears put six straight points on the board to kill the rally. USF scored two points off of Golden Bear attack errors to get within five points at 14-9 before Concordia went on an 11-3 run and wrapped up the sweep with a Haag kill for the 25-12 victory.
USF continues NSIC play this weekend, when they will host No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth on Friday (7 p.m.) and St. Cloud State (Saturday, 4 p.m.)
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls