ABERDEEN, SD -- The University of Sioux Falls volleyball team wrapped up its conference road swing with a four set loss to Northern State Saturday, 25-6, 18-25, 25-17, 25-19.

USF falls to 9-7 overall (1-6, NSIC) while the Wolves improved to 7-8 (2-5, NSIC).

Senior middle blocker and Lincoln product Sarah Kohler paced the Cougar offense with 13 kills and a .296 attack percentage. Sophomore Emily Johnson added 10 kills and eight digs while Chanda Goedken finished with five kills and four digs. Andrea Odbert dug out 12 Wolves’ shots and Alexa Reed dished 33 assists.

The Wolves ambushed the Cougars in the opening frame, as the home team raced out to a 20-3 lead and clinched the set by a 25-6 margin.

USF evened the match with an impressive performance in the second set. The Cougars came out swinging and jumped in front 4-0 after two NSU errors and kills by Johnson and Goedken. The Wolves earned the sideout on a Cougar attack error but USF responded with a 6-3 run to go up 10-4 and force a Wolves timeout. Later in the set, the Cougars posted three straight points on a trio of kills by Johnson, Kohler and Goedken to create a nine point cushion at 19-10. The Cougars kept the Wolves at bay and took the set 25-18.

The teams traded the first eight points of the third set before a 6-1 Wolves run put the home team in front 10-5 and forced the USF timeout. Out of the break, the Cougars battled and cut the deficit to 11-8 with a Kohler kill and were down just two points at 15-13 but a late surge by NSU pushed its lead to 21-15. USF was unable to get within six points and dropped the set, 25-17.

USF put up a fight in the fourth set but it wouldn’t be enough. NSU took a commanding 9-3 lead but the Cougars rallied for three straight points on a Johnson stab and back-to-back kills by Kohler to trim the Wolves’ lead to 9-6. In the blink of an eye, the Cougars were down 18-11 yet again they refused to quit, scoring three straight points cut the Wolves’ lead to four, 18-14. But, the Cougars would get no closer and NSU controlled the rest of the set. The Wolves clinched the match with a 25-19 fourth set victory.

The Cougars were out-hit .204-.078 by the Wolves. NSU held an 11-7 edge in total blocks.

USF will host Winona State (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Upper Iowa (Saturday, 2 p.m.) this weekend.

Courtesy:  University of Sioux Falls