The Golden Eagles opened the day with a 3-2 victory in five sets over Lake Superior State University. In their second match of the day, Minnesota Crookston fell 3-0 to Northern Michigan.

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball program opened the 2018 Wildcat Open Fri., Aug. 31 on the campus of Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich.

    The Golden Eagles opened the day with a 3-2 victory in five sets over Lake Superior State University. In their second match of the day, Minnesota Crookston fell 3-0 to Northern Michigan.

    Minnesota Crookston moves to 2-4 with the split. Northern Michigan has an unblemished 5-0 mark, while Lake Superior State is winless at 0-5.

Match 1 – vs. Lake Superior State

    The Golden Eagles battle back down 1-0 to pick up a 3-2 (22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 18-25, 15-13) victory over Lake Superior State in their opening match of the tournament.

Key Players
Minnesota Crookston
Deaira Gresham, So., OH, 15 kills, .018 hitting pct., 15 digs, 4 block assists
Callie Schapekahm, Sr., MH, 10 kills, .267 hitting pct., 7 digs
Kaitlin Sikkink, R-Jr., MH, 10 kills, .250 hitting pct., 4 block assists
Sydney Kruisselbrink, So., S, 42 assists
Lauren Ulibarri, 21 digs
Katie Lienemann, 17 digs
Lake Superior State
Amanda Reid, 16 kills, .200 hitting pct., 23 digs
Sarah Bailey, 12 kills, .021 hitting pct., 19 digs
Kelly Walter, 10 kills, .200 hitting pct.
Lauren Lukasik, 35 assists
Paige Gotham, 19 digs

    The Golden Eagles were ignited by their play in the second, third, and fifth sets. Minnesota Crookston hit .231 in the second set with 13 kills to just four assists. In set three, the Golden Eagles put down 17 kills and hit .135, while they had eight kills and a .154 hitting percentage in the final frame.

    Minnesota Crookston had an early lead in the first set with a 7-6 advantage following a Leuer kill. The Lakers responded as they took nine of the next 10 points to flip the script on the match with a 15-8 lead. Lake Superior State continued with their momentum to extend the lead to 19-9 with a Gresham attack error. Minnesota Crookston made a late push as they took seven-straight points to close the gap to 19-16 following a Walter attack error. However, the Lakers would be able to hold off the late-charging Golden Eagles for the 25-22 win.

    The Golden Eagles again had an early advantage in set two with a 6-5 lead following a Reid attack error. After a Gresham service error knotted the match, instead of giving in, Minnesota Crookston responded and rattled off five-consecutive points with a huge stamp put on by a Gresham kill to move the score to 11-6. The Golden Eagles would widen their gap to 23-10 as they built off the momentum with an Ali Schueler service ace. Minnesota Crookston would take the second set 25-17 to even the match at 1-1.

    The Golden Eagles had the 6-1 lead early on over Lake Superior State. The Lakers were able to respond and tie up the set 6-6 following an Alyssa Thomas (R-So., OH, Marion, Iowa) attack error. Minnesota Crookston countered as they took 12 of the next 17 points to move into an 18-11 advantage following a Kaitlin Sikkink kill. Lake Superior State made a late charge as they cut the deficit to 23-22 on a Gresham attack error late in the set. Minnesota Crookston again responded with kills from Lauren Wallace and Callie Schapekahm, as they took the set 25-23 to move into a 2-1 match lead.

    The Lakers, operating in desperation due to the match score, got out to an early 10-5 lead with a Camdyn Odykirk kill. Lake Superior State extended their advantage to 17-9 on a Reid kill. Minnesota Crookston did not succumb to the deficit as they battled back to cut the lead to 17-15 with a Schapekahm kill. Lake Superior State would be able to step it up down the stretch as they won eight of the final 11 points to claim the set 25-18, knotting up the match 2-2.

    The Lakers looked to set the tone early in the fifth set as they led 6-3 after a Walter kill. With their backs up against the wall, Minnesota Crookston responded as they changed the tone of the set by winning six-straight points as they flipped the script to a 9-6 lead. Lake Superior State came back and knotted the set up 13-13 with a Wallace attack error. With the match on the line, Schapekahm and Gresham delivered in the clutch form as their kills lifted the Golden Eagles to a 15-13 set five victory and a 3-2 match win.

Match 2 – at Northern Michigan

    The Golden Eagles would be unable to find their attack Friday afternoon in a 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-13) loss to Northern Michigan. Minnesota Crookston found themselves in early deficits in all three sets and would be unable to respond.

Key Players
Minnesota Crookston
Deaira Gresham, 11 kills, .320 hitting pct.
Callie Schapekahm, 4 kills, .133 hitting pct.
Sydney Kruisselbrink, 15 assists
Ali Schueler, 6 digs
Northern Michigan
Sarah Kuehn, 12 kills, .733 hitting pct., 5 block assists
Leticia Antunes, 11 kills, .429 hitting pct.
Lynzi Svoboda, 32 assists
Rachel Braunschweig, 13 digs

    The Golden Eagles would be unable to get much going offensively as Gresham was the only offensive player for Minnesota Crookston to get over five kills in the match with her final tally of 11 kills. The Golden Eagles hit just .036 in the match, compared to Northern Michigan’s .400 hitting percentage

    The Golden Eagles got out to a 5-2 lead early on with a Katie Lienemann service ace. However, Northern Michigan quickly responded as they triumphed in 16 of the next 19 points to go ahead 18-8 on a Wallace attack error. The Wildcats would be able to ride the momentum to a 25-16 win after a Monsma kill scored the sets final points.

    Northern Michigan got out to a 16-8 lead early in the second set after a Jessica Skonning kill. The Wildcats would build off the early energy as they won the second frame 25-16 on a Gresham service error.

    Northern Michigan jetted out to an early 12-6 lead with a Maggie Liebeck kill. The Wildcats continued to build on the momentum as they moved their lead to 22-8 on an Autumn Monsma kill. Northern Michigan would take the third set by a tally of 25-13 to take the match 3-0.

    Minnesota Crookston continues their slate at the 2018 Wildcat Open as they face Northwood University at 8 a.m. C.T. in Marquette, Mich., followed by Michigan Technological University at 2 p.m. C.T. at Vandament Arena in Marquette, Mich.