Minnesota Crookston lost in matches against Augustana University and Wayne State College.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball team struggled to stay with a potent Augustana University offense as they fell 3-0 (25-13, 25-14, 25-16) Fri., Nov. 3 at Lysaker Gymnasium in Crookston, Minn.   

    The Golden Eagles fall to 7-18 (4-13 NSIC) following the loss. Augustana, who is currently ranked No. 16 nationally, improved to 19-8 (10-7 NSIC) with the victory.   

    Minnesota Crookston had a strong match from Maggie Perrel (R-Sr., OH, New Germany, Minn.), who split time at outside hitter and libero due to an injury suffered prior to this season. Perrel finished with seven kills and hit .222 for the match. Kassi Green (R-Sr., OH, Anoka, Minn.) was controlled early on in the match, but finished with eight kills and a .147 hitting percentage. Kaitlin Sikkink (R-So., RS, St. Charles, Minn.) added five kills, while Kelci Green (R-Sr., MH, Anoka, Minn.) added four kills.   

    Kaycie Hagen (Sr., S, Savage, Minn.) started at the setter position and finished with 14 assists. The Golden Eagles went to a 6-2 rotation in the second set. Alex Oakes (R-So., S, Cloquet, Minn.) aided the offense with 11 assists. Minnesota Crookston hit .116 for the match with 27 kills and 12 errors.   

    Defensively, the Golden Eagles had 66 digs on the match for 22 digs per set. The Golden Eagles looked to 17 digs from Becca Vandenheuvel (Sr., Lib., Cannon Falls, Minn.). Perrel chipped in 13 digs, while Hagen added 11 digs. Kelci Green led the block with one solo block and two block assists in the third set. Green’s three blocks moved her past Morgan VanGerpen for second all-time in total blocks. She needs 32 total blocks to tie Erin Flynn for first all-time. In addition, she needs eight block assists to tie Flynn for the all-time block assists mark. Alyssa Muelken (Sr., MH, Savage, Minn.) added two block assists.   

    Minnesota Crookston struggled offensively in the set as they had six kills and five errors for a .028 hitting percentage. Augustana notched 18 kills and just four errors with a .341 hitting percentage.   

    The Vikings again came out of the gate strong in the second frame as they made it 5-2 after a Lauren Waite kill. Minnesota Crookston countered and closed to within 7-5 with a Kassi Green kill. However, the Golden Eagles went cold as a Vikings 6-1 run made it 13-6 with a kill from Courtney Place. Minnesota Crookston closed to within 15-10 with a Sikkink kill. Augustana took over the rest of the set as they went on a 10-4 run to take the frame 25-14 and go ahead 2-0 in the match.   

    The Vikings started the third set similarly to the previous two as they took an early 7-1 lead after a kill from Place. Minnesota Crookston clawed their way back in it and cut the lead to 9-7 with a Kassi Green kill. Augustana countered and took the 17-10 advantage following a Kelci Green attack error. Minnesota Crookston did not give in as they cut the lead to 22-16 with a Sikkink kill. However, Augustana ended the match on a 3-0 run to take the set 25-16 and the match 3-0.   

    “Augustana is a good team and they’ve got a lot of offensive weapons so once we were stopping one, they were able to find another one,” Head Coach Sarah Rauen said.   

    Friday was Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night for the Golden Eagles. They honored the faculty and staff of the University of Minnesota Crookston for their constant support they give the Golden Eagle volleyball program.    

    The University of Minnesota Crookston concluded their 2017 home slate with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-11, 25-17) loss to No. 22 Wayne State College (Neb.). The Wildcats beat the Golden Eagles at their own game as the Wildcats were able to spread the ball around, coupled with strong defense running a very similar system to Minnesota Crookston.   

    Minnesota Crookston falls to 7-19 (4-14 NSIC) with Saturday’s loss on Senior Day at Lysaker Gymnasium. Wayne State picked up the season sweep over the Golden Eagles. They move to 18-10 (11-7 NSIC) with the victory.   

    The Golden Eagles were paced by seven kills apiece from Kassi Green (R-Sr., OH, Anoka, Minn.) and Kelci Green. Kassi Green hit .103 on the match, while Kelci Green hit .105 for the match. Callie Schapekahm (Jr., MH, Eagan, Minn.), Perrel and  Sikkink each chipped in four kills.   

    Minnesota Crookston hit .108 for the match with 28 kills and 17 errors. The Golden Eagles ran a 6-2 for the game, utilizing two setters. Hagen led the team with 14 assists, while Oakes notched 10 helpers.   

    Defensively, the Golden Eagles finished with 52 digs. Vandenheuvel paced the team with 17 digs. Hagen and Perrel each notched nine digs. On the block, Kelci Green, Schapekahm, Muelken and Sikkink each picked up one block assist. Kelci Green needs 31 total blocks and seven block assists to tie school records set by Erin Flynn.   

    Wayne State led 10-7 in the early going of the first set after a kill from Erin Gross. The Golden Eagles would close within 11-10 with an Oakes service ace. The Wildcats responded with a 14-5 run to wrap up the match as they took the frame 25-15.   

    Wayne State controlled the second frame from the outset as they won 25-11.   

    The Golden Eagles tested the Wildcats early in the third set as they were knotted up 6-6 following a Katie Stephens attack error. Minnesota Crookston would take the 9-7 lead with a Kelci Green kill. Wayne State responded with a 9-0 run off of Megan Gebhardt’s serve as they extended their lead to 16-9. The Golden Eagles  cut the lead to 16-13 with a kill from Kelci Green. However, Wayne State again ended strong and closed out on a 9-4 run  taking the third set 25-17 and the match 3-0.   

    “I liked the way we came out and the way we fought,” Rauen said. “We mixed up our swings a little bit and did some different things to challenge them which I think worked and we got them to make some errors.”   

    The Golden Eagles will wrap up the season next weekend as they take on No. 2 Southwest Minnesota State University Fri., Nov. 10 and University of Sioux Falls Sat., Nov. 11.   

    Minnesota Crookston honored their seven seniors prior to the match. All seven players were instrumental in the growth and foundation of the program and were crucial during the transition to a new head coach with Sarah Rauen taking over the reins prior to the 2017 season. The 2017 seniors are; Alyssa Muelken, Maggie Perrel, Kaycie Hagen, Kelci Green, Rachel Freund, Kassi Green and Becca Vandenheuvel.   

    “They’ve done a great job,” Rauen said. “They’re leadership and their example has been huge for this program and they’ve really laid a good foundation for underclassmen to come in. This program would not be as far along as it is without that group.”