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NCAA VOLLEYBALL: SMSU sweeps road trip to Moorhead, NSU

November 18, 2013
Marshall Independent

ABERDEEN, S.D. - No. 8-ranked Southwest Minnesota State closed its regular season with a big 27-29, 25-21, 25-19, 25-20 road victory over No. 22-ranked Northern State on Saturday.

"It's been our last three matches, beginning with Augustana last Tuesday and then going on the road to (Minnesota State)-Moorhead, it's been been difficult," Mustangs head coach Terry Culhane said. "We always didn't make it easy, but we have found ways to win. That is a credit to the kids we have."

SMSU improved to 23-6 overall, 17-3 NSIC, and will open the NSIC Tournament a 7 p.m. Wednesday as the No. 3 seed. The Mustangs will host No. 6 seed Wayne State, which SMSU defeated 3-1 on Sept. 21 in Marshall in the only matchup between the teams this season.

SMSU was ranked No. 5 in this week's NCAA Central Region rankings, while NSU was ranked No. 8.

Abbey Thissen paced the Mustangs with a match-high 19 kills and finished hitting a team-high .371. Claire Sames (18), Whitney Burmeister (16) and McKell Anderson (13) all finished with double figure kills for SMSU, which hit .242 (75-32-178) in the match and recorded 12 blocks.

Rachel Westby paced the SMSU defense with 20 digs, while Emilee Gutzmer had 67 set assists.

NSU (21-6, 14-6 NSIC) hit .195 (48-17-159) and had seven blocks.

"Any time we have teams hitting low percentages against us, it has something to do what teams are doing, defensively," Culhane said. "Northern State started out hitting a high percentage against us, but our kids did a better job of blocking and defending, in general. We made it hard for the ball to hit the floor."

The Mustangs trailed 19-18 in Set 4, but rebounded with defense and secured a match victory with a 6-1 scoring run at the end.

"When you're down in a situation like that, you really have to play tough defense because you can't be giving points away," Culhane said.

NO. 8 SMSU 3, NORTHERN?STATE 1

NSU29 21 19 20

SMSU27 25 25 25

SERVING (ACES) - SMSU 2 (Emilee Gutzmer 1, Rachel Westby 1); NSU 1 (Kelsey Chambers 1).

HITTING (MADE-ATTEMPTED-KILLS) - SMSU 146-172-75 (Abbey Thissen 29-35-19, Claire Sames 39-47-18, Whitney Burmeister 32-37-16, McKell Anderson 21-28-13); NSU 142-159-48 (Chambers 34-38-13, Tori Biach 41-46-11, Cari McGarvie 19-22-7, Whitney Kemink 13-14-7).

DIGS - SMSU 79 (Westby 20, Anderson 18, Burmeister 16, Ellen Degler 10); NSU 58 (Renee Hoffman 13, Sami Nygaard 13, Jussy Tuscherer 12).

SET ASSISTS - SMSU 72 (Gutzmer 67); NSU 43 (Drew Smith 41).

BLOCKS (SOLO-ASSISTED-TOTAL) - SMSU 2-14-16 (Sarah Parker 1-4-5, Thissen 1-3-4); NSU 2-10-12 (Smith 1-3-4, McGarvie 0-4-4).

No. 8 SMSU 3, MSU Moorhead 1

MSU Moorhead25 18 22 21

SMSU23 25 25 25

SERVING (ACES) - SMSU 6 (Whitney Burmeister 1, Claire Sames 2, Emilee Gutzmer 1, Ellen Delgler 2); MSU M 2 (Maggie Gruber 1, Sam Sullivan 1).

HITTING (MADE-ATTEMPTED-KILLS) - SMSU 148-172-68 (Burmeister 34-41-11, Sarah Parker 21-25-13, McKell Anderson 22-24-11, Sames 33-38-17, Gutzmer 5-6-1, Abbey Thissen 30-35-15); MSU M 130-145-48 (Kaitlin VanWinkle 22-24-11, Brianna Atkins 26-29-11, Krisy Bruni 27-31-11).

DIGS - SMSU 69 (Rachel Westby 22, Burmeister 13, Gutzmer 11); MSU M 62 (Morgan Gradishar 11, Casi Baer 10, Sullivan 10).

SET ASSISTS - SMSU 65 (Gutzmer 54); MSU M 47 (Baer 21, Sullivan 19).

BLOCKS (SOLO-ASSISTED-TOTAL) - SMSU 3-6-9 (Parker 1-1-2, Anderson 1-1-2, Sames 1-2-3, Gutzmer 0-1-1, Thissen 0-1-1) MSU M 2-20-22 (Gruber 1-7-8, Atkins 0-7-7).

 
 

 

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