Nov. 19, 2009

* Courtesy of Minnesota State Mankato Athletics

St. Paul, Minn. - The fifth seeded Minnesota State volleyball squad traveled to St. Paul, Minn. to take part in the 2009 NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament hosted by #1 seed Concordia University, St. Paul. The Mavericks opened competition against fellow Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference member, #4 Wayne State.

The Mavericks took an early 9-3 lead in the first set of Thursday's match, but the Wildcats clawed back from a six point deficit to defeat the Mavericks, 25-23. The second set started similar with the Mavericks up 9-6 early. This time MSU finished strong, pulling away to a 25-18 win.

Entering the third set with the match evened up at 1-1, Minnesota State jumped out to a early 12-6 lead in the third set. Wayne State came back to tie up the set at 19, but the Mavericks turned up the heat late to earn the 25-21 victory. The Maverick looked to finish off the Wildcats in the fourth, but Wayne State took a lead early in the set and wouldn't give it up. The Wild Cats tied up the match at 2-2 with a 25-20 win.

The fifth set began with a fast start by the higher seeded Wildcats, jumping to a quick 4-1 lead. The Mavericks then scored three straight to tie the Match up at 4. The Maverick found themselves down 12-8 after the Wildcats took 6 of the next eight points and defeated the Mavericks 15-11

Minnesota State's attack was led by outside hitters freshman Chelsea Fogarty (Belle Plaine, Minn.) and junior Amanda Beekman (Marshall, Minn.) who earned 19 and 18 kills, respectively. Senior right-side hitter Ally Kwikkel (Waverly, Iowa) made each hit count, earning a team best .346 hitting percentage. Sophomore setter Brittany Stamer (Hutchinson, Minn.) finished with a team best 51 assists,.

Defensively, the Mavericks were led by Sophomore defensive specialist's Alli Rice (Owatonna, Minn.) and freshman Samantha Dale (Alexandria, Minn.) with 25 digs each. Junior middle blocker Amanda Thompson (Stewartville, Minn.) finished the match with eight blocks.

The Mavericks finish their season with a 26-7 overall record while the Wildcats advance to the semifinal round of the tournament where they will face the winner of #1 Concordia University, St. Paul and eighth seeded Colorado School of Mines.