The University of Minnesota, Morris volleyball team overcame hitting errors and a pesky Presentation College team to sweep the Saints at the P.E. Center Tuesday night.
The Cougars scrapped and fought and ultimately earned their first post-season Upper Midwest Athletic Conference tournament appearance.
They exchanged rally points with the Saints for most of the night, unable to establish long serving runs.
In the first set, the Cougars opened a four-point cushion at 9-5 behind consecutive kills from junior Megan Theis and sophomores Shannon Bosek and Natalie Thomas. UMM maintained this lead throughout the set, eventually closing at 25-22 with another kill from Theis (who had nine on the night).
When Allie Humphrey came on serve in the second set, the Cougars broke open a 17-16 lead as the Saints committed four attack errors in a six-point span. Kills from Bosek, Thomas and Theis made it a 24-17 lead and eventual set win at 25-19.
The Saints kept pace in the third set until three straight attack errors gave the Cougars a four-point lead. From that point they exchanged rallies with Presentation, until a Theis kill finished the set at 25-19.
The Cougars' tournament bracket will be set this weekend as the final games of the regular season will determine seeding.
The Cougars travel south to face Martin Luther Friday and close the regular season Saturday with Bethany Lutheran.
If the Cougars win out, and St. Scholastica loses this weekend, UMM could emerge a No. 2 or No. 3 seed because they own the tiebreaker against CSS. If the Cougars win out but Northland loses (to CSS), then UMM will remain the No. 4 seed. Northwestern is the No. 1 seed.