FAYETTE, Iowa — The Southwest Minnesota State University volleyball team (15-4 overall, 7-4 NSIC) dropped their second five-set road match in as many nights, coming up short against Upper Iowa (15-5, 8-3) 24-26, 25-20, 13-25, 25-19, 15-13 on Saturday night.
Angela Young led the team with 17 kills while adding eight digs, Meg Schmidt tallied 13 kills and five digs with four blocks, and Emma VanHeel would total 11 kills with seven blocks to lead the scoring for SMSU. Payton Hjerleid’s 17 digs led the defense, with Rachel Fink adding 11 digs and Katelyn Nichols collecting four blocks to go with five kills and three aces.
After eight ties in the first 20 points and a 10-10 score, SMSU cracked the set open, jumping to an 18-12 lead. The teams would trade 3-0 runs to move the score to 21-15. SMSU would reach set point at 24-19, but a 5-0 run would keep UIU in the game at 24-24. SMSU would finish it off with kills from Young and Schmidt to close it out.
Set two saw a 10-8 SMSU lead turn to a 19-14 UIU lead that would be too much for SMSU to overcome. SMSU would cut the lead to 22-19, but the Peacocks would score three of the next four points to even the match at one set apiece. UIU would outhit SMSU .346-.200 and recorded 15 kills to the nine of SMSU.
SMSU raced to an 11-6 lead early in set three, with two kills from Young, Schmidt, and Katelyn Nichols jump starting the offense and forcing an UIU timeout. An 8-2 SMSU run would create even more separation in the match, expanding the SMSU lead to 19-8, and the Mustangs would go on to score six of the next 11 points, including a pair of Emma VanHeelkills in the final two points, to take a 2-1 lead into the fourth set. SMSU would hit a game-high .406, as opposed to the .061 percentage of Upper Iowa.
The Mustangs never held a lead in the fourth set. They would trail 5-4 early, but a 7-1 UIU run would grow the lead to 12-5. SMSU would respond with a 7-3 run to narrow the gap to 15-12. UIU would go on a 3-1 run of their own, but SMSUwould yet again respond with a 3-0 run to cut the deficit to 18-16 and force a Peacock timeout. The Mustangs continued to chip away following the timeout, crawling to within one at 20-19, but five straight UIU points would force the match into the fifth set.
SMSU jumped to a 4-2 lead to open the fifth set, but UIU would respond with a 4-0 run to lead 6-4 and force a Mustang timeout. The two teams would split the first six points following the timeout before a 3-0 run to give UIU a 12-7 lead. A 6-2 SMSU run would close the gap and apply pressure to the Peacocks but would not be enough to overcome the deficit.
SMSU outhit UIU .268- .229 and would out-block UIU, 11-4, but would record four ball handling errors and nine reception errors, compared to none and six from Upper Iowa respectfully.
SMSU returns home for a pair of matches against Minnesota State and Concordia-St. Paul. The Mustangs will take on Minnesota State Friday at 6 p.m. before welcoming CSP into the PE Gym at 2 p.m. on Oct. 23.
— Content courtesy
of SMSU Athletic