12th-ranked Minnesota State defeats USD women’s volleyball team, 3-2

12th-ranked Minnesota State defeats USD women's volleyball team, 3-2
The University of South Dakota women's volleyball team lost a closely contested 3-2 (25-30, 30-23, 19-30, 30-24, 9-15) decision to 12th-ranked Minnesota State on Friday night at the DakotaDome.

With the loss, South Dakota dropped to 19-7 overall and 3-5 in the NCC. The conference win by MSU pushed their record to 5-3 in league play and 17-6 overall.

The Coyotes were led by junior hitter Kathleen Hruska (Sioux Falls) with 22 kills on 52 attacks and a .250 hitting percentage. Hruska recorded 20 kills or more for the sixth this season and reached double digits in kills for the 22nd time. USD also received 14 kills and 15 digs from Laura Slagter (Roseville, MN), who recorded her 11th double-double of the season. Also reaching double digit in kills for USD was senior Ashley Gross (Norfolk, NE) with 13 and freshman Kristin Kritenbrink (Gretna, NE) with 10. Gross hit a match-high .370 with 13 kills on 27 attacks and just three errors. She also contributed four assists, two digs and two block assists. The Coyotes also received 60 set assists from Gina Baldwin (Mitchell) who had a double-double with 15 digs.

USD's libero Amber Kobus (Columbus, NE) recorded 24 digs and now has 1,410 in her career which is just one away from second on the USD career list held by Lacey Ross (2001-04) with 1,411. Overall, the Coyotes hit .193 with 71 kills on 212 attacks and 30 errors. USD had 67 assists, 89 digs and seven team blocks.

MSU was led by Amanda Beekman with 23 kills and a .316 hitting percentage. The Mavericks hit .257 for the match with 82 kills on 214 attacks. MSU also recorded 94 digs, 79 assists, including 71 by Stef Sandstrom, and six service aces.

In a back and forth match, MSU won game one by a score of 30-25. The Mavericks outhit USD .265 (19K-6E-49A) to .143 (17K-10E-49A). MSU broke from an 8-8 tie with a 12-8 run for a 20-16 lead. Later, the Mavericks built a 26-20 advantage before USD rallied to within two points at 25-27. The Mavericks, who received six kills from Beekman and Ashley Nachreiner, scored the final three points of the game. USD received four kills from Hruska.

USD rebounded to win game two, 30-23, as the Coyotes jumped to a 13-3 advantage and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way. The Coyotes were led in game two by Hruska with six kills on 10 attacks. Overall, USD hit .311 with 17 kills on 45 attacks and just three errors. MSU hit .188 (18K-9E-48A).

MSU controlled game three from start to finish for a 30-19 win. The Mavericks hit .319 with 18 kills on 47 attacks and three errors. USD struggled offensively with just a .022 hitting percentage (10K-9E-45A). A kill by MSU's Dana Overstag provided the Mavericks with a 19-9 advantage as they cruised to the victory. The Coyotes received four kills from Slagter but could not cut into the large deficit.

The Coyotes rallied from a 12-2 deficit to tie the match at 2-2 with a 30-24 decision in game four. The Mavericks opened the game with an 8-0 advantage and led 12-2 before USD put together one of its biggest rallies of the season. USD, led by six kills from Hruska and four from Gross, went on a 28-12 run to end the game. The Coyotes outhit MSU, .277 (19K-6E-47A) to .174 (16K-8E-46A). MSU was led by Beekman with seven kills.

The Mavericks picked up a 15-9 decision in the final game by using a 8-2 run to break from a 7-7 tie. MSU outhit USD, .417 (11K-1E-24A) to .231 (8K-2E-26A) Beekman led the way for MSU with four kills on six attacks. USD was led by Hruska with five kills on nine attacks.

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