UMD outlasts SMSU for five-set win
MARSHALL, Minn. – In a battle of two Top 10 teams, No. 9 Minnesota Duluth outlasted No. 7 Southwest Minnesota State in five sets to earn an important NSIC victory by scores of 25-17, 15-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-9.
SMSU was led by Meg Schmidt, who racked up a match-high 18 kills and finished hitting .350. In the process, Schmidt also became just the 16th player in team history to reach 1,000 career kills.
Sarie Kuehl recorded 10 kills for the Mustangs while Emma VanHeel finished with nine.
Alisa Bengen dished out 40 assists and finished with 10 digs for the double-double. Abby Meister paced the Mustang defense with a match-high 20 digs.
SMSU started the match strong jumping out to a 7-2 lead in set one, but UMD rallied to take the early advantage
SMSU answered in set two jumping out to a 9-3 lead while hitting .290 in the set to tie the match at 1-1.
The Mustangs led 18-15 in set three, but the Bulldogs answered with a 7-2 run before eventually winning 25-21.
In set four, UMD would build a 16-11 lead, but SMSU scored six unanswered to take the lead. UMD roared back to have match point at 24-22. SMSU wouldn’t go give up and used kills by VanHeel and a pair of Arkell to regain the lead at 25-24. An attack error by UMD would give SMSU the set win at 26-24 to push the match to set five.
UMD would take control early scoring the first four points before SMSU cut the deficit to 4-3. UMD however scored three straight points to make the score 7-4 and never looked back in earing the thrilling five-set victory.
SMSU (13-2, 5-2 NSIC) continues homecoming weekend on Saturday taking on No. 4 St. Cloud State inside the PE Gym starting at 2 p.m.