SMSU VOLLEYBALL: Mustangs remain unbeaten with home opening sweep past Vikings

MARSHALL — The No. 5 ranked Southwest Minnesota State showed resilience on its way to a 3-0 victory over Augustana on Tuesday night in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference volleyball inside the PE Gym. SMSU won by scores of 25-20, 27-25 and 25-16.

Angela Young and Meg Schmidt paced the offense, collecting 16 and 13 kills respectively, with Alisa Bengen’s 38 assists setting up the attack. Payton Hjerleid’s season-high 20 digs and six blocks from Emma VanHeel lifted the defense in the victory.

Set one looked to float in the Vikings direction, as an 17-13 lead was built into the late stages of the set. The Mustangs didn’t flinch, going on a 12-3 run to take the victory. Schmidt started the rally, getting a kill in each of the Mustangs’ three points to start the run. Young added two kills near the end before a sneaky skip set by Bengen capped off the win.

Set two saw 18 ties and nine lead changes before concluding. For the second consecutive set, it looked as though Augustana would take the set after taking a 24-22 lead. The Mustangs refused to go down, scoring the next two points to tie it at 24-24, and after giving up a point, scored the final three to snatch another set. It was Schmidt and Young that lead offensively, recording three kills apiece in the Mustangs’ final seven points.

Set three looked similar to the second set, with each team trading points early. After Augustana took a 6-4 lead, it was all Mustangs. Five straight points gave them a 9-6 lead, and although the Vikings would claw back to make it 10-10, another 5-0 run lifted SMSU to a 15-10 lead. The score would soon balloon to 20-13, and the Mustangs would end the match on a 5-2 run to seal the deal.

SMSU ended the game outhitting Augustana .244-.146, picking up 17 more kills and four more aces than the Vikings.

SMSU, playing at home for the first time since 2019, improves to 11-0 overall, 3-0 NSIC. Augustana drops to 6-5 overall, 1-2 NSIC.

Southwest Minnesota State remains at home this Friday and Saturday facing St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth. SMSU and SCSU meet up on Friday starting at 6 p.m.

— Content courtesy

of SMSU Athletic



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