St. Thomas (Minn.) rallies to move on
Tommies rallied from a two-set deficit, advance to second round
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- St. Thomas (MInn.) won in five sets to defeat St. Scholastica 3-2 in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday.
The Saints took an early 3-1 lead in the opening set, but the Tommies went on a 7-0 run midway through the set, which proved to be the difference. St. Thomas prevailed 25-15.
The Tommies jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second set, but the Saints responded by going on a 7-2 run halfway through to take control and the set 25-18. St. Scholastica had four service aces, 14 kills and just two hitting errors in the set.
Then in the third set, the Saints held a 21-15 advantage, but the Tommies stormed back to take a 24-22 lead. The drama then ensued as kills by Paige Hardy and Taylor Tyllia took care of two set points for the Tommies. St. Thomas then had seven more set points, but the Saints fought off all of them, making spectacular plays defensively to keep the point alive and then attacking the ball with perfection. St. Scholastica eventually recorded two points in a row and had four set points themselves denied by the Tommies until kills by Anna Zyvoloski and Hardy ended the set with the Saints on top 37-35.
The 37 points scored is a program record for points scored in a set, including when teams had to win a set with 30 points.
The Tommies showed their grit and tournament experience in the fourth set, bouncing back quickly to take a 10-3 lead. The Saints crept back in and made it 18-16, but the Tommies held on to force a fifth set by a score of 25-19.
In the fifth set, the Saints took a 5-2 lead, but the Tommies went on a 9-1 run to go up 11-6. The Saints kept on fighting and cut the margin to 13-11. However, the Tommies got the kills they needed to take the fifth set and the match 15-12.
Zyvoloski led the Saints with 18 kills, followed by Hardy with 16 kills. Tyllia pitched in with 14 kills. Zyvoloski also had 22 digs to lead the team. Nikki Hugheshad 20 digs, including one of the plays of the tournament to save a ball in the third set on a St. Thomas set point.
Sarah Kurtovichhad 55 assists and along with Jenny Kienzle had three service aces. As a team, the Saints had 10 service aces.
St. Thomas (30-4) moves on to face Concordia College-Moorhead in the regional final after the Cobbers swept Bethel University.
The Saints finish with a 27-7 record and say goodbye to two players, Hughes and Cortney Rykken. However, the main corps expects to be back next year to make a deeper run in the tournament.