The University of Minnesota, Morris volleyball team split a pair of Upper Midwest Athletic Conference matches on the road. The Cougars lost to conference-leading St. Scholastica, but bounced back to defeat Northland 3-2.
The Cougars are now at 6-3 in the UMAC.
The Cougars get to return home this weekend, after nearly a month on the road. Home for the first time since Sept. 25, UMM will host Northwestern at 5 p.m. on Friday.
St. Scholastica 3
The Cougars suffered just their third conference loss Friday, dropping a four-setter on the road to league leading St. Scholastica.
St. Scholastica stayed perfect in UMAC play at 8-0, winning sets one, three and four by scores of 25-18, 26-24 and 25-20, respectively. UMM had the match even at 1-1 for a moment after their 25-22 second set win.
The Cougars hit an impressive .343 in the second set, and knocked down a team-high 16 kills against just four errors. They also held the Saints to one of their lowest marks of the night, as CSS hit .216 in the loss.
After the second set win, the Cougar defense was able to step it up yet another notch in the narrow overtime loss in the third set. As UMM pushed the final to 26-24, they limited the Saints to a .160 hitting percentage, but eight errors and a .130 mark at the net plagued UMM in the loss.
The Cougars were paced by three players in double figures up front, led by a career-high 12 from freshman Nicole Gillespie. Gillespie took a team-high 32 attacks and was joined by Kaylie Clark and Allie Humphrey who each finished with 10.
The Saints were led by heavyweights Paige Hardy and Anna Zyvoloski with 22 and 21 kills, respectively. St. Scholastica finished with 59 kills in the match to 51 for UMM.
The Cougars had three players with over 10 digs, by match's end, including double-doubles from Clark and Gillespie with 14 each. Also in the mix on the back line was Brita Humphrey with 10.
Mandy Allman finished with 26 assists in running the offense.
The Cougars hit .467 in the fifth set to cap a 3-2 win Saturday, rallying back after Northland took the second and third sets.
The Cougars cruised in set one, winning 25-16, before the LumberJills took control after a pair of long wins in the second and third sets. Northland had to work extra, winning by scores of 27-25 and 26-24, respectively. With no room left to give, the Cougars fought back, winning 25-19 and 15-6 in the fourth and fifth sets.
UMM was led by Steph Schmieising, who finished with 15 kills. The Cougars had three players finish with double-digit kills in the nearly two hour match.
Megan Theis finished with 12 while hitting .429, and Allie Humphrey went over 10 for the second straight match with 11, leading all hitters with a .450 mark on the front line.
Northland had two players finish with over 10 kills, and actually out-hit the Cougars as a team, finishing with a .225 mark to UMM's .186. The difference was the Cougars' 62 total kills to just 49 for the LumberJills.
Natalie Thomas dished out 43 assists and had 14 digs as part of the Cougars' 96, their second best mark of the season. Gillespie led the way with 24 digs, while Brita Humphrey joined her in the 20-club with 21.