ST. PAUL, Minn. – After going down 2-0, St. Benedict (29-5) climbed back for a 3-2 win against Northwestern and advanced to the NCAA regional final. The win avenged two losses to the Eagles earlier in the season.
Libero Victoria Nass became the CSB single season digs record holder. After her 26 digs on Friday, she now has 740 on the season, breaking the old mark of 726.
Northwestern (27-9) won the first two sets 25-22 and 25-20. Their numbers on the attack were .102 and .283, respectively.
The Eagles finished with 21.5 total blocks on the night. They were led by Tiji Rudzitis, who finished with 12 in the match.
The beginning of the third set resulted in a 7-to-1 Blazer run. After a going up 11-3, the Eagles began to rally, looking to get back some of the momentum they had earlier in the match.
They rattled off six in a row to get within two at 11-9, but Taya Kockelman answered with a kill to get the serve back to the Blazers. In addition to her 49 assists on the night, she added quick kills to get around the Eagle block.
After Kockelman put the Blazers up 12-9, they went on a 14-to-5 run to close the set and win 25-16.
A nearly-even fourth set started to swing the Eagles way, as they went up 18-14 after a four-point run.
A timeout call by head coach Nicole Hess resulted in six consecutive points for St. Benedict, giving the Blazers a 20-18 lead. Northwestern got back within one, but could get no closer as the Blazers closed out the 25-21 set win.
In the fifth set the Blazers had an 8-5 lead and an 11-5 edge. Nine kills in the fifth set carried St. Benedict to the win, as they hit .316 for their best mark of the night.
The final point came on a kill from Lexi Alm, as she finished with 20 in the night, coming off 85 swings.