Minnesota Crookston falls to 2-8 (0-2 NSIC) with Saturday's loss. Minnesota Duluth improved to 8-2 (2-0 NSIC).

    The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball team displayed some of their best volleyball of the season in parts of Saturday’s match against No. 6 University Minnesota Duluth. However, Minnesota Duluth was able to make adjustments in the key points of the match to earn a 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-8) win.

    The Golden Eagles had Minnesota Duluth on the ropes late in the second set as they had a 16-11 advantage. However, a UMD squad that is consistently among the top teams nationally displayed why they are heralded as one of the best NCAA Division II programs. The Bulldogs made the adjustments necessary and closed the set out on a 14-5 run, winning the frame 25-21.

    Minnesota Crookston falls to 2-8 (0-2 NSIC) with Saturday’s loss. Minnesota Duluth improved to 8-2 (2-0 NSIC).

Key Players
Minnesota Crookston
Deaira Gresham, 10 kills, .053 hitting pct.
Kaitlin Sikkink, 5 kills, .444 hitting pct.
Sydney Kruisselbrink, 19 assists
Ali Schueler, 11 digs
Callie Schapekahm, 3 block assists

    The Golden Eagles finished the match with 23 kills to 15 errors for a .086 hitting percentage. Minnesota Crookston also notched 33 digs for an average of 11 digs per set. Minnesota Duluth finished with 47 kills to 13 errors for a .343 hitting percentage. The Bulldogs tallied 52 digs for an average of 17.3 digs per set.

Set One

    The Bulldogs were within 4-3 early in the first set following a Sarah Kelly attack error. Minnesota Duluth responded and extended the lead out to 10-4 following a Callie Schapekahm (Sr., MH, Eagan, Minn.) attack error. Minnesota Crookston pulled within 11-7 after a Hanna Meyer attack error. UMD would be able to widen their advantage out to 14-9 with a Kelly kill. The Golden Eagles did not give in as they made a charge to pull within 14-12 following an Emily Torve attack error. UMD countered with a major run as a 7-0 rally move the lead to 21-12 following a bad set by Sydney Kruisselbrink (So., S, Rochester, Minn.). The Bulldogs used the late momentum to take the 25-14 win despite strong play early on by Minnesota Crookston.

Set Two

    The Golden Eagles were on a mission to take the second set as they jetted out to a 4-1 lead following a Kate Berg service error. The Bulldogs cut the lead to 4-3 on a Deaira Gresham (So., OH, Maplewood, Minn.) attack error. The Golden Eagles responded with a 5-0 run ignited by kills from Gresham and Lauren Wallace (R-Fr., OH, Bloomington, Minn.). UMD came within 9-5 with a kill from Kate Berg. However, Minnesota Crookston responded with a 3-1 run to take the 12-6 lead. Minnesota Crookston would move their advantage to 16-11 propelled early on by five blocks and three kills from Wallace. That is when Minnesota Duluth made their needed adjustments and found All-American right side hitter Kelly, who helped the Bulldogs overtake the lead 20-17 with a 9-1 run. The Golden Eagles would put up their best effort late, but Minnesota Duluth would come away with the 25-21 set two win to take a 2-0 match lead.

    The Golden Eagles trailed just 3-2 in the third frame after a Kaitlin Sikkink (R-Jr., MH, St. Charles, Minn.) kill. However, Minnesota Duluth would outscore Minnesota Crookston 22-6 the rest of the way to win the third set 25-8 and the match 3-0.

    Minnesota Crookston will look to build on several positives they displayed against the nation’s No. 6 team as they prepare to face Bemidji State University Tues., Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. in Bemidji, Minn.