Nov. 18, 2010

Courtesy of Concordia-St. Paul Athletics

MARSHALL, Minn. -
The #1 Golden Bears dropped the first set to Minnesota State Mankato, on Thursday afternoon but they stepped up their play and went on to win the match in four sets, 21-25, 25-19, 25-16, . The Golden Bears were led by Megan Carlson, Cassie Haag and Emily Palkert. All three had double digit kills as CU found their offense toward the end of the second set.

Emily Palkert had 18 kills in the first matchConcordia's Emily Palkert tied her season high in kills with 18, she has not had 18 kills four times this season. Haag was right behind her with 17 as she found her game offensively after the first set. The most impressive performance of the first round may have been together by Megan Carlson who had 15 kills on 25 attempts and zero errors along with 19 digs, to lead the CU defense. Amanda Konetchy also did a great job setting up the CU offense as she dished out 58 digs, three short of a career high as CU hit .364 on the afternoon. Taylor Fieldsted play well defensively as she went for 17 digs with many great athletic saves.

The Golden Bears came out flat defensively in the first set and the Mavericks hit .455 on their way to a 25-21 victory. The first set was highly competitive the two teams we close midway through the set with MSU clinging to a 12-10 lead. The Mavericks extended the lead to 17-13 before CU rallied to pull within one at 19-20. MSU would not be denied as they scored five of the next seven points to take the set.

Palkert explained, "We seem to have a bad habit this year with starting slow and MSU came to play, it definitely showed in the first set."

In set two CU jumped out 10-6 midway through the set but MSU pulled within one at 14-13. CU extended the lead to 17-13Megan Carlson had a double double for CU and from then on out the two teams traded points back and forth and CU won set two 25-19. The key in the set was the CU defense putting a strangle hold on the MSU hitters and holding them to .237 hitting compared to .455 in the first set. CU also hit .382 in the second set up from .324 in the first.

"We were fired up after the first set and played well on defense. Credit Minnesota State for playing well in the first set. I was proud of our effort in the last three sets and we played hard," said Head Coach Brady Starkey.

Haag asserted herself right away in the third set as she scored the first three points of the set as CU got out to a 3-0 lead and forced a quick MSU timeout. MSU battled back to tie the set at 5-5. The Golden Bears went on a run after that and scored 13 of next 17 points to take a commanding 18-9 lead on the way to a 25-16 set three victory. The CU defense again stepped up and held MSU hitters to .121 hitting for the set.

In the deciding fourth set CU jumped out to 11-2 lead right off the bat and just kept putting the pressure on MSU as they got out to an even bigger lead at 17-3. The two teams traded points back and fourth as CU got out to a 23-8 lead and won the set 25-11.

The Golden Bears will play the winner of #3 seed Wayne State and #6 seed Metro State College at 5 p.m. Follow the links above to catch the action if you are not in Marshall. Also don't forget to see what the CU volleyball players are up to the whole weekend by following us on Twitter via cugoldenbears.