Three Cougars Named NSIC Challenge All-Tournament
The University of Sioux Falls volleyball team had a strong showing on the NSIC Challenge All-Tournament Team, with junior outside hitter Emily Johnson, senior setter Alexa Reed and junior middle blocker Kate Hart each being selected to the 12-person squad which represented eight schools.
The first-ever NSIC Challenge was held this weekend on the campus of both the University of Sioux Falls and Augustana College. Competing schools included USF, Augustana College, Minot State, St. Cloud State, Drury University, Northwest Missouri State, Missouri Western State and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
It is first all-tournament honor for both Reed and Hart, while it is Johnson’s fourth career tournament nod.
Playing in every set, Johnson racked up 60 kills with a .374 hitting clip (60-14-123) in the Cougars’ four matches. After a nine kill performance in the Cougars’ home opener versus Drury, the former Platte-Geddes star went on a tear, putting down 17 kills in three straight matches to finish the tournament with an average of four kills per set.
She was also a strong presence at the net, posting a total of six blocks (three solo) as the Cougars held their opponents to an average hitting percentage of .173.
Senior setter Alexa Reed dished 169 assists on the weekend for a lofty 11.27 per set average. She did a little bit of everything for the Cougars, adding 12 kills, 24 digs and four block assists while also slapping a pair of aces. She served up 51 assists (five off her career best) and added seven digs and four block assists in the Cougars’ 3-1 win over Missouri Western State.
Kate Hart shined in her Stewart Center debut. A 2012 AVCA Two-Year Colleges First-Team All-American for Spokane CC (Wash.), she recorded 36 kills and 14 total blocks in 15 sets. Hart was unstoppable in the Cougars’ tournament finale against Northwest Missouri State, punishing the Bearcats with 10 stabs and five block assists in a 3-1 USF victory.
The Cougars (7-1, 0-0 NSIC) posted a four-match sweep at the NSIC Challenge. USF dropped just three sets total in wins versus Drury, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Missouri Western State and Northwest Missouri State. They have now won seven matches in a row and are just one win shy of tying the best start to a season in program history (8-1).
The Cougars will open NSIC play at Wayne State College on Thursday night. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.
NSIC Challenge All-Tournament Team
Courtney Ysker, Augustana (MVP)
Holly Hafemeyer, Augustana
Marissa Johnson, Augustana
Sarah Borneman, Drury
Jen Dixon, Minot State
Brooke Bartosch, Northwest Missouri State
Abby Graves, Northwest Missouri State
Kate Hart, Sioux Falls
Emily Johnson, Sioux Falls
Alexa Reed, Sioux Falls
Ellie Dietzen, St. Cloud State
Dani Domeier, St. Cloud State