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SMSU VOLLEYBALL: Mustangs fall in championship heartbreaker to CSP at Colorado Premier Challenge

DENVER, Colo.- In a Colorado Premier Challenge championship rematch, Concordia-St. Paul and Southwest Minnesota State met again one year later as the Golden Bears earned a four-set victory (21-25, 25-22, 18-25, 28-30) on Saturday night.

The Mustangs (6-2) were restricted to a .198 hitting percentage while the Golden Bears (6-2) recorded a .265 hitting percentage.

SMSU was led in offense by Angela Young, who was named tournament MVP, with 24 kills on the night. Young had 75 kills in the tournament with two matches with twenty-plus kills.

SMSU’s Zoe Lier and Meg Schmidt were named to the all-tournament team. Schmidt finished second on the team with 10 kills while Lier had five blocks.

In the teams’ first meeting of the season, the NSIC competitors were evenly matched with the largest disparity a 16-7 advantage the Golden Bears held in blocks.

Alisa Bengen paced the Mustangs with 41 assists and led the defense with 12 digs.

CSP was led offensively by Jasmine Mulvihill with 15 and Makenna Berger and Erin Fallert adding 13 and 11 respectively.

With CSP leading the match 2-1, SMSU opened set four to an early 5-0 lead. The Mustangs held on to the lead until two attack errors and a kill from CSP’s preseason player, Sara Macek, would tie the set at 10-10. The Mustangs would use two back-to-back kills from Young and back-to-back blocks from Lier to regain a four-point cushion at 14-10.

The Golden Bears would go on a four-point run to come back from a 16-12 deficit. The Mustangs couldn’t shake the Golden Bears as they would tie the set when the Mustangs had set-point. It only took off from there as the teams would go back-and-forth until CSP’s strong offense would go for three uncontested kills to end the match 30-28.

No. 15 SMSU 3,

Lewis (Ill.) 1

DENVER, Colo. – The No. 15 Southwest Minnesota State volleyball team (6-1) advanced to the Colorado Premier Challenge championship with a four-set victory (25-23, 28-30, 25-23, 25-16) over No. 5 Lewis (Ill.) (6-1) earlier on Saturday. The Mustangs were the winner of their pool on Friday to advance to the gold bracket to play Lewis (Ill.), the winner of their collective pool.

The Mustangs held the Flyers to a .176 hitting percentage while SMSU maintained a .244 hitting percentage to send the Mustangs to the championship.

Angela Young led the match with 21 kills while Meg Schmidt added 17 and Jenna Walczak added nine.

Lydia Sussner led the Mustangs at the night with seven blocks while SMSU’s defense was led by Rachel Fink and Payton Hjerleid who each contributed 14 digs.

Emma Thomssen and Alisa Bengen also recorded 29 assists each.

The Flyers proved their national ranking continuously throughout the set as the Mustangs held them at bay in the first set with only a one-point lead at the end of set one before Walczak was able to help the Mustangs pull ahead for the set one victory.

Lewis came back strong in the second set to continue tying the set up and even extending the set before Lewi’s Collen Wilhelm, who led the Flyers offensively with 14 kills in the match, went for back-to-back attacks to gain the Flyers the set two victory.

Once again in set three, the Flyers tied the set up at 23-23 as Schmidt and Walczak both made the efforts offensively to end the set.

Throughout the match, the Mustangs utilized strong net-play to hold the Flyers at bay. While Sussner led the match with seven, Walczak contributed four and Schmidt added two. The Mustangs also finished with a match-high .261 hitting percentage in set-four as they secured their spot in the championship match.

Up next

Southwest Minnesota State (6-2) will open NSIC play on Friday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. at the University of Mary.

– Content courtesy

of SMSU Athletic

Communications

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