DULUTH, Minn. – A 60-second timeout was all it took to get Minnesota Duluth back on track Tuesday night.
In danger of dropping their first set in six matches, the fourth-ranked Bulldogs (19-0 overall, 10-0 Northern Sun) came out of a timeout late in the third set and dominated, finishing off a 25-14, 25-13, 25-20 sweep of St. Cloud State (5-13, 1-9) in front of 517 fans in Romano Gymnasium.
“The big thing was I wanted my upperclassmen – the kids who are always on the floor – to rally around my freshman setter,” head coach Jim Boos said. “The level of play around [Jaclyn Barrette] needed to pick up and take some pressure off of her, so she could just relax and do her job.”
Down 19-17 to the Huskies in the third set, UMD came out of the timeout to snag eight of the final nine points, six coming on kills. Freshman setter Jaclyn Barrette teamed with junior middle blocker Kalli Lochner for a block on the final point, sending the Bulldogs to their 14th sweep of the season.
UMD continued its solid defensive play, holding SCSU to an .020 hitting percentage. Instead of the back row handling the brunt of the load defensively this time however, it was the Bulldogs’ blocking that got the job done. UMD out-blocked SCSU 10-7, making it the first time this season the Bulldogs reached double digits in blocking.
Lochner, Barrette and senior right side hitter April Hansen each had their hands in four blocks for UMD. Hansen also played a big role offensively, posting seven kills and no errors to lead the Bulldogs with a .636 hitting percentage. Senior middle blocker Stephanie Brown also had success from the right side of the floor, collecting eight kills and hitting .500 on a night UMD spread the offense around well for a team .284 hitting percentage.
Sophomore outside hitter Kate Lange led the team with 14 kills. Lochner and senior outside hitter Hannah Johnson each contributed six.
Despite the digging totals staying low, UMD still led the way in that category as well, out-digging the Huskies 44-24. Junior defensive specialist Samantha Hertaus led the Bulldogs with 11 digs, with redshirt freshman libero Julie Rainey adding eight.
No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul 3, Bemidji State 0
BEMIDJI STATE, Minn. — Ashley Murtha had career highs in kills and digs on Tuesday night as top-ranked Concordia-St. Paul swept Bemidji State 25-11, 25-11, 25-15. Murtha led the way with 15 kills and nine digs on the night, as she also tied her career high in blocks with two. Michelle Graham had a career high 11 kills as she continues to see extended playing time.
NSIC Setter of the Week Amanda Konetchy had 42 assists as she continues to set up the CU offense. Concordia was able to break through the Beavers’ defense, hitting .424 on the evening. Megan Carlson had a double-double with 15 kills and 12 digs while Taylor Fieldsted had 11 digs as she continues her quest for 1,000 digs on the season.
The Golden Bears (19-0, 10-0 NSIC) jumped up early on BSU (4-14, 1-9 NSIC), scoring the first six points of the first set. Midway through the set CU held an 18-9 lead before taking the opening set 25-11, scoring the last three points of the set.
Concordia got up early in the second set by scoring the first five and leading 10-2 early. The Golden Bears kept the kept plugging away and extended the lead to 20-8 late in the set before once again taking it by 14 points.
Following the 10-minute intermission, BSU battled Concordia in the third set, sticking close at 9-7 midway through the set. With the score 12-10 in favor of the Golden Bears, Concordia went on a 13-5 run to win the set 25-15.
Game information and photos compiled from athletic department websites.