MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Despite dropping all three sets the North Central University volleyball team played tight against a formidable Upper Midwest Athletic Conference opponent in Martin Luther College (12-9). NCU dropped all three sets by scores of 25-22, 25-16, and 25-20 in Clark Danielson Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
North Central kept the pace up in the first set as a kill from Grace Haseltine tied the score at 16-16 late in the first set. The set would remain tight as a kill by Katie Strand pulled the Rams within two at 23-21 before a kill from Martin Luther and an attack error by the Rams gave the Knights the first set of the evening.
The Knights would keep the pressure on, building an early led that would widen to five points after a kill by Jade St. Germain to make it 17-12 halfway through the second set. The Rams would have a hard time stopping the momentum as a 6-0 run by the Knights would build a lead that would be tough to overcome as the Knights went up 23-13 before winning the second set 25-16.
In the third set, the Rams got on a roll and took an early lead at 11-10 after an attack error by the Knights. The next segment would go back and forth as the Knights and Rams traded points. A kill by Katie Strand would pull the Rams within two at 17-15 late in the third set as the Rams attempted to force a fourth. A kill from Kayla Balogh would give the Knights a commanding lead at 24-17 as they attempted to seal the match. However the Rams would not go down easy as a kill from Emma Middendorf, coupled with two attack errors for the Knights pulled the Rams within four at 24-20 as Maddie Stocker continued to serve. Ultimately an attacking error would give the Knights the third set and the match despite the Rams hard effort throughout.
NCU was paced offensively by senior Katie Strand as she recorded eight kills. Emma Middendorf added five kills in support of Strand. Maddie Stocker and Bethany Wollman played well in the back row recording 16 digs and 10 digs respectively.
The Rams will be back in action, Saturday October 7th as they travel to Minnesota-Morris for a UMAC match beginning at 3:00 p.m.