The University of Minnesota Crookston volleyball team opened up their 2013 home slate with a thrilling match Saturday versus St. Cloud State University. The match between two equal opponents, ultimately turned tides later as the Huskies used a late rally in set four to boost momentum in set five for St. Cloud State to take both sets and the match 3-2 (26-24, 21-25, 23-25, 26-24, 15-9). The Golden Eagles fall to 5-5 (0-2 NSIC) while the Huskies improve to 8-2 (2-0 NSIC).
Balance was the key in Saturday’s match for the Golden Eagles as normal attack leader Brittany Looker (Jr., OH, Rochester, Minn.) was shut down in the first two sets meaning other players needed to step up, and they did. None more so than freshman right side hitter Maggie Perrel (New Germany, Minn.), who played the best match of her young collegiate career, tying the season high for any Golden Eagle player this season with 20 kills and hitting .415 with just three errors. Looker turned it on late and finished with 18 kills while middle hitter Katie Miedtke (Jr., MH, Maple Grove, Minn.) added 10 kills and hit .421 and Morgan VanGerpen (Jr., MH, Overland Park, Kan.) chipped in nine kills and hit .261. Setter Sierra Trost (Fr., Ham Lake, Minn.) also had one of her best matches of her 10-match long career with a season-high 56 assists versus the Huskies.
Defensively, UMC was led by 21 digs from Chelsea Wiesner (Sr., Lib., Rochester, Minn.) as the Golden Eagles forced 25 errors versus the Huskies. In addition to new all-time career digs leader Wiesner, who was honored before the game, Alexandra Skeeter (Sr., OH, Milwaukee, Wis.) had 15 digs while Looker also had 15. Trost and Paige Mitchell (Sr., DS, West Palm Beach, Fla.) also tallied double-digit digs. The UMC block was paced by VanGerpen’s three solo blocks and two block assists.
St. Cloud State was paced by 16 kills from Ellie Dietzen as the Huskies hit .242 for the match. Kaitlin Doughty chipped in 14 kills while Kellan Flynn had 13 and hit .478 and Dani Domeier had 10 kills. Setter Erin Ohlemann led the way for the St. Cloud State system with 49 helpers.
Defensively, the Huskiers looked to libero Brianne Stamer, who tallied 29 digs to lead all players on the court while Domeier added 17.
UMC will remain at home as they host travel partner Bemidji State University at 7 p.m. at Lysaker Gymnasium in Crookston. The match will serve as Faculty/Staff Night for the Golden Eagles.