Minnesota Crookston falls to 4-18 (2-12 NSIC).
The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball team won the first set over No. 4 Concordia University-St. Paul but ultimately lost 3-1 (19-25, 25-15, 25-12, 25-11). The first set victory was only the third set win for the Golden Eagles in the last 18 seasons over the NCAA Division II defending National Champions, who have taken the title in nine of the last 11 years. The Golden Eagles beat Concordia-St. Paul twice in 1999, but since have just won three sets in 2002, 2015, and 2018.
The Golden Eagles had their best week of the season as they continued to grow as a team, especially offensively where they finished with 31 kills and just 15 errors for a .152 hitting percentage. Minnesota Crookston hit an astounding .375 in the 25-19 first set victory.
Minnesota Crookston was strong on their service as they had six service aces and just two errors with two service aces apiece by Lauren Ulibbari (Jr., DS, Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Katie Lienemann (So., Lib., Rosemount, Minn.)
Concordia-St. Paul finished the match hitting .374 with 62 kills and 16 errors.
Minnesota Crookston falls to 4-18 (2-12 NSIC) with the loss, while Concordia-St. Paul moves to 19-4 (3-1 NSIC).
The Golden Eagles were paced by the play of Porsha Porath (Fr., OH, Windom, Minn.), who had 11 kills and hit .241 for the match. Porath had a phenomenal weekend as the newcomer averaged 3.13 kills per set on the weekend, while hitting .308 on the weekend.
Porsha Porath, 11 kills, .241 hitting pct.
Lauren Wallace, 6 kills, .294 hitting pct.
Deaira Gresham, 7 kills, .174 hitting pct.
Sydney Kruisselbrink, 23 assists
Katie Lienemann, 7 digs
Brooklyn Lewis, 16 kills, .542 hitting pct.
Sara Macek, 12 kills, .474 hitting pct., 3 solo blocks, 2 block assists
Hope Schiller, 10 kills, 15 digs
Elizabeth Mohr, 54 assists
Tori Hanson, 10 digs
Minnesota Crookston started the match on a strong note as they got out to a 7-5 lead after back-to-back Sara Macek attack errors. The Golden Bears cut the lead to 7-6 on a Hope Schiller kill. However, the Golden Eagles came right back with eight-consecutive points to move the lead to 15-6 propelled by three Porath kills. Concordia-St. Paul cut the deficit to 15-10 following a Sydney Book kill. However, Minnesota Crookston would be able to push out to a 23-16 advantage. The Golden Bears made a last ditch effort in the set as they pulled within 24-19 on a Brooklyn Lewis kill. However, Minnesota Crookston put a stamp on their first set win since 2015 over the Golden Bears with a Book service error.
The Golden Eagles took the first point on a Porath kill, but the Golden Eagles then rattled off four straight led by two Lewis kills to move the advantage to 4-1. Concordia-St. Paul moved their lead out to 7-2 after a Lewis kill. Minnesota Crookston responded as they knotted the set up 7-7 led by a Lienemann service ace and a Sydney Kruisselbrink (So., S, Rochester, Minn.) kill. The Golden Bears responded with six-straight points to move the lead out to 13-7 on a Sara Macek kill. The Golden Eagles moved within 16-10 with a Callie Schapekahm (Sr., MH, Eagan, Minn.) kill. However, Concordia-St. Paul took nine of the last 14 points to take the frame 25-15 to knot the match up at 1-1.
The Golden Bears got out to an early 6-3 lead with a Schiller kill. Minnesota Crookston came back and tied the set up 6-6. However, Concordia-St. Paul took 19 of the final 25 points to win 25-12 to go ahead 2-1 on the match.
Concordia-St. Paul set the tone early in set four as they took five-straight points to take a 5-0 lead. Minnesota Crookston would be unable to make up the gap as the Golden Bears would hang on to win 25-11 in the set and 3-1 in the match.
Minnesota Crookston will look to build on a strong week as they head to Winona State University and Upper Iowa University next weekend.