« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Eric Peterson, Published October 30 2013

Auggies sweep Cobbers in volleyball

MOORHEAD – Augsburg seized the momentum late in the first set Wednesday night at Memorial Auditorium and didn’t relent from that point.

The Auggies rallied for a 26-24 win in the first set, sparking a 3-0 victory against Concordia in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference volleyball.

“That first set was huge,” Cobbers head coach Tim Mosser said. “Nothing against Augsburg, but I think if we win that first set, it is a whole different match.”

The Auggies (27-3, 10-1 MIAC) cruised to 25-18 and 25-20 wins in the final two sets to earn the sweep and a share of the MIAC regular-season championship. Concordia (18-9, 9-2) missed a chance to win a share of the MIAC crown and earn the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament.

The Cobbers are the No. 4 seed for the MIAC playoffs, which start Tuesday. Concordia will host St. Mary’s in the first round.

“It’s really rough to know that you are either No. 1 or No. 4,” said Cobbers junior outside hitter Kynndyl Ross, who had a team-high 12 kills against Augsburg. “You are on top or you are down in the middle. … It just shows how good our conference is. We have so many good teams that are battling for the top spot.”

The Cobbers were in position to win the first set, holding leads of 21-18, 22-21, 23-22 and 24-23. However, Augsburg rallied for the final three points in the opening set. Auggies senior outside hitter Colleen Ourada’s kill sealed a 26-24 win in the first set.

“For us, we needed to make sure that we finished, and that didn’t happen,” Ross said. “It just shows how important that when you have control, you have to keep control and keep pushing.”

The Auggies kept pushing after that first set. They built a quick 9-3 lead in the second set en route to victory. In the third set, Augsburg got off to a 7-3 advantage and never trailed in that set from that point.

“We dug ourselves in a hole a little bit that second set, and that’s kind of what put us back,” Ross said.

Augsburg sophomore Ashley Peper had a big performance, finishing with a match-high 17 kills with a .394 hitting percentage. The 5-foot-10 right-side hitter added seven digs and one block.

“She’s been rock solid all year,” Augsburg head coach Jane Becker said. “She has the ability to get 20 kills. She’s a great player.”

The victory gave Augsburg at least a share of its first MIAC volleyball championship in program history.

“It’s emotional,” Becker said. “This is a great group of girls.”

The Cobbers would have received a first-round bye and had home court throughout the MIAC tournament if they had beat Augsburg. The winner of the conference tournament earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.

“We made our road immeasurably more difficult, but it is what it is,” Mosser said.

AUGSBURG (kills-blocks-aces): Menke 1-0-1, McCourt 0-0-0 (41 assists), Ourada 14-1-3 (12 digs), Lillquist 6-1-0, Trautman 5-3-0, Peper 17-1-0, Kuusisto 0-0-0, Berens 0-0-0, Everett 0-0-0, Arndt 4-0-0.

CONCORDIA: Mercil 1-0-0 (16 assists), Hampton 8-3-0, Wangensteen 7-2-0, Reed 6-1-0, Beaner 2-1-0, Ross 12-2-0, Klaphake 0-0-0 (22 assists), Schmidt 0-0-0, Skow-Anderson 7-0-0, Waller 0-0-1 (15 digs).

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com