Northland Sports Online

UMD Falls to Concordia





The second seeded University of Minnesota Duluth took on third seeded Concordia-St. Paul in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Semi-final on Saturday afternoon. In the game of eight’s (both teams ranked No. 8 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll), UMD would fall in five sets, 3-2 and now carry a 24-6 overall record while CSP climbs to 24-7 on the year.

The Bulldogs would swing at a .164 clip with six blocks while the Golden Bears would hit at a .207 clip with nine blocks.

The match would start with junior outside hitter Kate Berg dropping one in from the left side, followed by a slam home by sophomore outside hitter Meredith Sutton. The Bulldogs would hop out to an early 3-0 lead before the Golden Bears were able to score their first point. The two sides would battle back and forth, trying to find to gain momentum, with Concordia able to tie things at a 5-5 score. UMD was able to gain a two-point lead when sophomore middle blocker Summer Ballard hit one to the floor, en route to a three point where the Bulldogs went up 9-6. UMD would keep the pressure on CSP, but the Golden bears would again tie things, 11 a side before CSP was able to gain a lead. The teams would see-saw back and forth before redshirt freshman setter Madison Gordon was able to drop an ace, the Bulldogs going up 15-14 before the first media timeout of the match was called. After the teams would trade points, UMD was able to go on a two-point rally and take the lead. CSP would counter with two and regain the lead before the Bulldogs would take their first timeout. The Golden Bears again would score two straight and gain a three-point lead before UMD would take their second its second timeout. After scoring two quick points, CSP would take the first set, 25-22.

After a quick side switch, Ballard would open the second set with a hammer that the Golden Bears couldn’t handle. CSP would strike back, when NSIC Freshman of the Year would put one past the Bulldogs defense to tie things up at one a side. The squads would trade points before UMD was able to snag three quick points, with senior middle blocker Abby Thor and senior setter Emily Balts grabbing an assisted block. The Bulldogs would go on a 5-1 and grab an 8-4. CSP was able to grab one back before it would commit a service error and UMD the serve again, leading to a two-point rally. The Bulldogs would grab a seven-point lead. Gordon would drop another ace in before the media timeout, with the Bulldogs leading 15-7. The Golden Bears would go on a 3-1 rally before Sutton swing the momentum. UMD would continue to keep the pressure on, gaining an eight-point lead with Ballard and Berg snagging a huge block at 21-13. The Bulldogs were able to keep their lead and close out the set, 25-17.

UMD would open the scoring in the third, with CSP grabbing the second point to even things up. The Squads went back and forth, neither team giving in nor scoring more than a point in a row until Balts would drop in a second point in a row for UMD, taking a 6-4 lead. The Golden Bears were able to counter with one of their own before the Bulldogs were able to get the serve back and score another one with a block coming from senior right side hitter Hanna Meyer and Ballard. UMD would take a 9-5 lead before CSP would call their first timeout. The Golden Bears would chip at the lead and bring the score to 9-8 before the Bulldogs were able to strike again when Berg dropped one in. The teams again would battle back and forth until CSP was able to tie things at 12 a side before taking a lead at 14-12, forcing UMD to take a timeout. UMD would tie things at 15 a side before taking the lead at 17-15 forcing a Golden Bears timeout. The Bulldogs would further their lead and take a 20-16 lead before CSP was able to again pull within three. UMD would score three before the Golden Bears were able to score again. The Bulldogs would force set point when CSP would chip back, before the Golden Bears would commit a service error and UMD would take the set, 25-20.

Balts would drop an ace to open the fourth set, with CSP countering with a kill of their own. Berg would get the serve back on the Bulldogs side, with UMD taking advantage of the opportunity and scoring two straight taking a 3-1 lead. The Golden Bears would grab three straight before the Bulldogs were able to tie things at four each way. CSP would grab four straight and continue to build their lead to five at 10-5 forcing UMD to take a timeout. The Bulldogs would score the first point out of the timeout, before CSP would grab three straight, 13-6, before committing a service error. The teams would go back and forth until the Golden Bears would drop in two and take a 15-7 lead before UMD would take its second timeout. Points would see-saw again, with slowly chipping back. CSP would keep the lead to eight, 19-11. Meyer would drop one in, but the Golden Bears would keep strong at 13-21. Points were traded before CSP was able to score two, before Thor was able to bring the hammer down on a big kill. The Bulldogs would try to swing momentum back their way when the Golden Bears forced match point, but CSP would take the fourth set, 25-17.

In the final frame, the Golden Bears would open the scoring, but Thor would put one back to tie things at one a side. Senior defensive specialist Kenna Seiffert would drop an ace, before CSP was able to get one back. The teams didn’t show any break on either side, with CSP taking the lead at 4-3. UMD would score two straight and bring themselves within one at 4-5, before the Golden Bears were able to strike back. CSP would commit a service error to give the Bulldogs the serve back. The squads would trade points, each team battling for the lead until the mandatory switch when CSP would hit eight points at 8-5. UMD was able to strike first, with the Golden Bears countering with two of their own, forcing the Bulldogs to take a timeout at 6-10. The sides would a point each before CSP would grab two straight, UMD taking its second timeout at 7-12. UMD would score one from Thor, leading to a two-point rally and a Golden Bears timeout. The Bulldogs kept the pressure coming, scoring off the timeout. CSP would grab one before UMD was able to strike again, bringing it to 11-13. The Golden Bears would force match point and take the final set, 15-11.

Gordon would finish with one ace, one assist and seven digs. Sutton would finish with five kills and two blocks. Ballard would drop 14 kills with three blocks. Berg would swing 20 to the floor and grab a block and 10 digs. Seiffert would dig 11 in the match. Balts would dish 53 assists with four aces in the match. Meyer had eight kills with three blocks. Thor would kill nine with three blocks.

The Bulldogs await the Regional Selection show to see if they will get a bid into the NCAA Regional, taking place on Monday, Nov. 25.



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