Augustana (S.D.) uproots No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth in five-set battle
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Augustana (S.D.) volleyball continued its hot streak beating its second top 10 team less than a week, this time taking down third-ranked Minnesota-Duluth in five sets (13-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-27, 15-11). The Vikings improve to 13-6, 7-3 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action and the Bulldogs fall to 17-2, 8-2 in NSIC play.
This marks the first occasion since coach Ashley Buckley’s inaugural season that Augustana defeated Minnesota-Duluth (Oct. 4, 2008). The Vikings also hadn't beat a top-five team since topping No. 1 West Texas A&M on Sept. 7, 2002.
Augustana was held to only .109 for a first set attack percentage and only nine kills losing the first set 25-13. The Bulldogs hit .359 with 16 kills and cruised to the first-set victory. Holly Hafemeyer and Taylor Hrdlichka each contributed three kills.
The Vikings used a couple late runs to separate themselves from the Bulldogs on their way to a 25-18 set win. Jordan Spatenka found her groove and drilled back-to-back kills to put the Vikings up 14-12. Courtney Ysker continued her great serving and drilled two aces on a six-point Augustana run. The Vikings swung at a .333 clip and held the Bulldogs to .154.
Augustana’s largest lead reached eight points at 19-11, but the Bulldogs made set three interesting with a late surge. The Vikings let Minnesota-Duluth within one point at 24-23 but Hrdlichka drilled the final point of the set and Augustana took set three 25-23. Hafemeyer was big up front with two solo blocks in the third.
The fourth set was a marathon with neither team budging, but the Bulldogs pulled out the set 27-25. Three consecutive Ysker kills brought the Vikings within one point at 17-18, but the Bulldogs used a couple Augustana errors to stretch their lead to 23-19, forcing a Viking timeout. Spatenka drilled a kill and a Bulldog error forced Minnesota-Duluth to use a timeout at 23-22, Bulldogs. Ysker smashed a kill on the next point and the Bulldogs used their last timeout as the fourth-set score was now tied 23-23. After trading points until 25-25, Minnesota-Duluth reeled off two kills to take the fourth set.
Augustana put away the Bulldogs 15-11 in the fifth set. The Vikings were down 5-2 in the fifth set, but took the lead at the court change 8-7. After two consecutive Spatenka kills, the Bulldogs were forced to take a timeout. Minnesota-Duluth tied the score at 9-9, but it was all Vikings from there. Hafemeyer ended the match with her team-high 17th kill.