The Golden Eagles move to 2-6.

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball program dropped a pair of matches Sat., Sept. 1 at Vandament Arena in Marquette, Mich. In the morning tilt, the Golden Eagles were able to keep close against Northwood University, but ultimately couldn’t find a way to win key frames as they fell 3-1 (25-14, 21-25, 25-21, 25-21). In the afternoon session, Minnesota Crookston fell at the hands of Michigan Tech University 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-11).

    The Golden Eagles move to 2-6 with Saturday’s pair of losses at the 2018 Wildcat Open. Northwood sits at 3-4 on the season heading into their final match of the tournament. Michigan Tech has posted a 6-2 record through their first eight matches.
Match 1 – vs. Northwood

    The Golden Eagles put together a pair of strong sets offensively as they hit .259 with 11 kills in a second set, in which they won 25-21. Minnesota Crookston also played particularly well in the fourth set as they posted a .200 hitting percentage. The Golden Eagles ultimately fell 25-21 in the last two sets of the match. In set three, Minnesota Crookston was knotted up with the Timberwolves at 21-21 before surrendering the final four points of the set. In the fourth frame, the Golden Eagles were within two points of Northwood at 22-20, before losing 25-21.

    The match against the Timberwolves reunited members of Minnesota Crookston’s 2015 recruiting class, which includes Callie Schapekahm (Sr., MH, Eagan, Minn.), Ali Schueler (R-Jr., DS/Lib., Howards Grove, Wis.), Kaitlin Sikkink (R-Jr., MH, St. Charles, Minn.) and Sabrina Leuer (R-Jr., OH, Hamel, Minn.). The four Golden Eagles were reunited with former teammate Carson Rutherford, who plays for Northwood.

Key Players
Minnesota Crookston

Sabrina Leuer, 10 kills, .375 hitting pct.
Melissa Rodriguez, 9 kills, .368 hitting pct., 2 solo blocks
Callie Schapekahm, 7 kills, .313 hitting pct.
Sydney Kruisselbrink, 33 assists
Ali Schueler, 17 digs

    UMC fell behind the Timberwolves early in the first set as Northwood led 8-4 following a Mary Gallegher kill. The Timberwolves  widened their lead to 21-9 and continued to ride that momentum to a dominant 25-14 set one win.

    Northwood looked to build off their convincing first set as they opened the second frame with a 4-0 lead. UMC kept the match within 16-14 following a block from Rodriguez and Hannah Stark (Fr., OH, Esko, Minn.). The Golden Eagles made their move in the match soon after rattling off seven-consecutive points to take a 21-18 lead following a Sydney Kruisselbrink (So., S, Rochester, Minn.) service ace. Minnesota Crookston won the set 25-21 on a Katie Lienemann (So., DS/Lib., Rosemount, Minn.) ace.

    Northwood had early control of the third set with a 10-3 advantage following a Kadriu service ace. The Golden Eagles responded as they won 12 of the next 13 points to pull within 15-11 on a Lienemann service ace. Minnesota Crookston pulled even closer at 18-17 following a Kruisselbrink service ace. The Golden Eagles would tie up the match 21-21 on an attack error from Rutherford. The Timberwolves held off Minnesota Crookston as kills from Kadriu and Gallegher propelled a 25-21 set three victory. Northwood moved into a 2-1 advantage in the match.

    The Timberwolves held an early 6-4 lead after a Kruisselbrink service error. The Golden Eagles overcame Northwood by taking three-straight points as they moved into a 7-6 advantage following a Colleen Mayer attack error. The Timberwolves responded with an 8-1 run to take a 14-8 lead. Minnesota Crookston didn’t succumb to the run as they were able to tie the set up 15-15 on a kill by Melissa Rodriguez (Jr., MH, Sarchi, Costa Rica). The Golden Eagles would stay close as they trailed 22-20 after a Deaira Gresham (So., OH, Maplewood, Minn.) kill. That would be as close as UMC would get as Northwood took the set 25-21 to win the match 3-1.
Match 2 – vs. Michigan Tech

    The Michigan Tech Huskies controlled Saturday afternoon’s match against the Golden Eagles. The Huskies hit .350 for the match with 54 kills and just 12 errors. UMC struggled on the match as they hit just .058 with 24 kills to 18 errors.

Key Players
Minnesota Crookston

Deaira Gresham, 10 kills, .081 hitting pct.
Sydney Kruisselbrink, 20 assists, 14 digs
Lauren Ulibarri, 9 digs

    Michigan Tech raced out to a 9-4 lead in the first set against Minnesota Crookston.  The Golden Eagles would be within 15-11 following a Gresham kill. The Huskies would take the set as they won 10 of the last 15 points to win the frame 25-16.

    UMC looked to respond after a tough first set. Minnesota Crookston held a 5-3 advantage early on following a Ping attack error. Minnesota Crookston continued to hold a 14-13 lead after an Anna Jonynas attack error. Michigan Tech overcame the Golden Eagles as they took 11 of the last 14 points in the set to win 25-16. Jonynas ignited the late onslaught by the Huskies as she had six kills in their final 11 points.

    Michigan Tech held an 8-3 advantage early in the match after a Mariah Sherman kill. The Golden Eagles would close the gap with a Schapekahm kill to cut the lead to 9-7. The Huskies again controlled play down the stretch as they took 16 of the last 20 points in the match to win the set 25-11 and the match 3-0. Olivia Ghormley propelled the Huskies on this occasion with six kills in the final 16 points.

    The Golden Eagles will look to continue to make strides as they enter NSIC play Thurs., Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. at St. Cloud State University. Minnesota Crookston will open play at home Sat., Sept. 8 against University of Minnesota Duluth at 4 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium.