Minnesota Crookston falls to 1-3 as they concluded the 2018 Hampton Inn Invitational in Kenosha, Wis.

KENOSHA, Wis. –  The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball team played some of their best volleyball of the season in spots Saturday evening, but they came up short 3-2 (25-11, 20-25, 14-25, 25-21, 15-8) to Saginaw Valley State University.

    Minnesota Crookston falls to 1-3 as they concluded the 2018 Hampton Inn Invitational in Kenosha, Wis. Saginaw Valley State was the lone team at the tournament to go an unblemished 4-0.

Key Players
Minnesota Crookston
Sabrina Leuer, 12 kills, .296 hitting pct.
Deaira Gresham, 12 kills, .073 hitting pct., 6 digs
Kaitlin Sikkink, 9 kills, .296 hitting pct., 7 block assists
Sydney Kruisselbrink, 37 assists, 10 digs
Ali Schueler, 20 digs
Lauren Ulibarri, 17 digs

Set One

    Saginaw Valley State got out to an early 7-1 lead on Minnesota Crookston following back-to-back kills from Emily Friesl and bad set by Sydney Kruisselbrink (So., S, Rochester, Minn.). The Cardinals built their lead out to 11-2 after a kill by Tamara Heller. UMC was able to cut the lead to 15-8 after a Kaitlin Sikkink (R-Jr., MH, St. Charles, Minn.) kill. However, Saginaw Valley State would be able to come away with a dominating 25-11 set one victory.

Set Two

    The Golden Eagles got out to a 4-2 advantage in the second set. Minnesota Crookston extended their lead to 10-6 on an Alyssa Thomas (R-So., OH, Marion, Iowa) service ace as she exploited the right back for the Cardinals. Deaira Gresham (So., OH, Maplewood, Minn.)put down an opportune kill for the Golden Eagles from the left side to move the lead to 15-10 mid-way through the match. A kill from Sikkink and an errant attack by the Cardinals helped extend the advantage to 17-10 for UMC. Minnesota Crookston would show marked improvement in the second set as they hit .364 with 15 kills and just three errors to take the frame 25-20. The Golden Eagles hit -.027 in the first set with six kills to seven errors.

Set Three

    Saginaw Valley State got out to a 6-4 lead in the set after a Maria Vukaj kill. Minnesota Crookston would respond as they rattled off three-consecutive points to go ahead 7-6 following a Callie Schapekahm (Sr., MH, Eagan, Minn.) kill. The Golden Eagles built their advantage out to 13-8 with a block from Sikkink and Lauren Wallace (R-Fr., OH, Bloomington, Minn.) and an errant hit by the Cardinals. Minnesota Crookston would continue to ride their momentum as they went up 16-8 on a lucky desperation punch of the ball by Sabrina Leuer (R-Jr., OH, Hamel, Minn.) that hit right inside the line in the left back of the defense. The Golden Eagles continued their domination in the frame as they won the set 25-14 after hitting .364 for the set with 12 kills and no errors. The winning point for the set came on a kill from Melissa Rodriguez (Jr., MH, Sarchi, Costa Rica), the first of her career at UMC.

Set Four

    The Cardinals looked to respond after dropping two sets in a row. They took a 3-1 lead in the frame following a Friesl kill. Saginaw Valley State pushed their advantage out to 8-4 on a Friesl kill. UMC pulled within 9-8 on a Vukaj attack error. Saginaw Valley State responded and pushed their advantage out to 13-9 on a Sarah Tabit kill. The Cardinals would continue to control the pact of the set as they moved their lead to 17-12 on a Gresham attack error. Saginaw Valley State moved their lead to 21-15 on a bad set by Kruisselbrink. The Cardinals hung on for the 25-21 win to knot the match up 2-2.

Set Five

    The Cardinals took an early 4-2 advantage in the final set following a Friesl kill. Saginaw Valley State moved their early lead to 8-5 after a Friesl service ace. The Golden Eagles would pull within 9-8 following a Hannah Tabit service error. The Cardinals would respond and widen their lead to 12-8 after a Vukaj service ace. The Cardinals would be able to hold on to the frame 15-8 and the set 3-2.

    Minnesota Crookston returns to action at the Wildcat Open in Marquette, Mich., Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.