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Eric Peterson, Published November 05 2013

St. Mary's knocks Cobbers out of MIAC volleyball playoffs

MOORHEAD – Tim Mosser called Tuesday night a summation of his team’s volleyball season.

“At times we were very good, but we were not consistent,” the Concordia head coach said.

That up-and-down play proved costly. Sophomore outside hitter Alex Peterson smacked a match-high 15 kills to spark St. Mary’s to a 25-19, 31-29, 25-19 victory against the Cobbers in the first round of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament at Memorial Auditorium.

“If we were consistent, we would be very good,” Mosser added.

The Cobbers (19-11) ended their season by losing four of their last five matches. They lost their final three matches against MIAC competition. Concordia had won its first nine conference matches before the late-season swoon.

“This was a real frustrating way to end our season because we know we can play much better than that,” said Concordia junior outside hitter Kynndyl Ross, who had a team-high 10 kills. “It’s a hard way to end the season.”

The match momentum shifted to St. Mary’s for good in the second set.

The Cobbers took a 24-21 lead in the second set after a Ross kill. The Cardinals, however, rallied for the next three points. St. Mary’s setter Lexi Assimos served an ace that tied the score at 24-24.

The 5-foot-8 Assimos added the final two points in the second set. She scored set point on a tip, giving St. Mary’s a 31-29 victory and a 2-0 match lead.

“Had Concordia been able to win that match that really could have changed the match; no question,” said St. Mary’s head coach Mike Lester. “One of the things we have talked about with our team all year is being resilient. We didn’t have to talk much about it. We just trusted our kids.”

Ross felt that second set was a match-changer.

“I think those are the ones that are really the backbreakers, when you think you have it and then they come back,” Ross said. “Those are the ones that are just momentum breakers.”

St. Mary’s converted that momentum into the first four points in the third set. The Cardinals never trailed in the final set en route to a 25-19 victory to complete the sweep.

“That’s kind of a disappointing way to end the season,” Mosser said. “It’s disappointing to not come out and perform better at the end.”

Lester liked the way his team scrapped against the Cobbers, finishing with 79 digs.

“It all started with our defense,” Lester said. “Any time your back row is playing with that much energy, that much spark, it translates into your offense.”

ST. MARY’S (kills-blocks-aces): Bunne 4-2-0, Grover 8-1-0, Peterson 15-2-0, Nordick 6-3-0, Schilling 0-0-0, Assimos 7-2-3 (34 assists), Krogstad 1-0-2 (17 digs), Thomas 0-0-1, Lind 10-1-0, MacVey 0-0-1.

CONCORDIA: Mercil 0-0-0 (17 assists), Hampton 7-4-1, Wangensteen 6-2-0, Reed 1-2-0, Beaner 6-0-1, Ross 10-1-0, Sheets 0-0-0, Klaphake 0-0-0 (17 assists), Grove 0-1-0, Skow-Anderson 6-1-0, Waller 0-0-1 (27 digs).

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com