Vikings Take Down No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth In Five Sets
SIOUX FALLS, SD -- Augustana volleyball continued its hot streak beating its second top 10 team less than a week, this time taking down third-ranked Minnesota Duluth in five sets (13-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-27, 15-11). The Vikings improve to 13-6, 7-3 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action and the Bulldogs fall to 17-2, 8-2 in NSIC play.
This marks the first occasion since coach Ashley Buckley's inaugural season that Augustana defeated Minnesota Duluth (Oct. 4, 2008). The Vikings also hadn't beat a top-five team since topping No. 1 West Texas A&M on Sept. 7, 2002 in Denver, Colo.
Augustana was held to only .109 for a first set attack percentage and only nine kills losing the first set 25-13. The Bulldogs hit .359 with 16 kills and cruised to the first-set victory. Holly Hafemeyer and Taylor Hrdlichka each contributed three kills.
The Vikings used a couple late runs to separate themselves from the Bulldogs on their way to a 25-18 set win. Jordan Spatenka found her groove and drilled back-to-back kills to put the Vikings up 14-12. Courtney Ysker continued her great serving and drilled two aces on a six-point Augustana run. The Vikings swung at a .333 clip and held the Bulldogs to .154.
Augustana's largest lead reached eight points at 19-11, but the Bulldogs made set three interesting with a late surge. The Vikings let Minnesot Duluth within one point at 24-23 but Hrdlichka drilled the final point of the set and Augustana took set three 25-23. Hafemeyer was big up front with two solo blocks in the third.
The fourth set was a marathon with neither team budging, but the Bulldogs pulled out the set 27-25. Three straight Ysker kills brought the Vikings within one point at 17-18, but the Bulldogs used a couple Augustana errors to stretch their lead to 23-19, forcing a Viking timeout. Spatenka drilled a kill and a Bulldog error forced Minnesota Duluth to use a time out at 23-22, Bulldogs. Ysker smashed a kill on the next point and the Bulldogs used their last timeout as the fourth-set score was now tied 23-23. After trading points until 25-25, Minnesota Duluth reeled off two kills to take the fourth set.
Augustana smeledl the finish line and put away the Bulldogs 15-11 in the fifth set. The Vikings faced a slight hole down 5-2 in the fifth set, but took the lead at the court change 8-7. After two consecutive Spatenka kills, the Bulldogs were forced to take a timeout. Minnesota Duluth tied the score at 9-9, but it was all Vikings from there. Hafemeyer ended the match with her team-high 17th kill.
Spatenka also finished the night with 17 kills while Ysker and Hrdlichka contributed 15 and 13 kills, respectively.
Marissa Johnson set career-highs with 55 assists and 18 digs and also notched her second double-double of the season.
The defense came up huge with four Vikings notching at least 13 digs. Grace Sanders led the way with 21, Julia Witt followed with 18 kills along with Johnson, and Kayla Wallerich shook off a rough start to finish with 13.
The Vikings return to the court Saturday evening against St. Cloud State at 4 p.m.