Cougars Post Four-Set Win on Senior Day
With the win, the Cougars improve to 18-10 overall (9-9, NSIC), while Minot State dropped to 12-16 overall and 7-11 in the league play.
In addition, the Cougars jumped into seventh place in the league standings with two regular season matches left on the schedule. The top eight teams will qualify for the US Bank NSIC Volleyball postseason tournament. The Cougars also avenged a disappointing five-set loss earlier this season in Minot.
Saturday’s win was aided in large part by the outstanding play of juniors Emily Johnson and Kate Hart, as they combined to floor 41 of USF’s 61 kills in the match. Johnson pounded a career-best 26 terminations on 48 attempts with only two errors for a team-best .417 attack percentage. She added 10 digs for her fourth double-double of the year. Hart notched 15 kills while Jordan Calef chipped in six terminations.
USF senior tandem of setter Alexa Reed and libero Andrea Odbert also shined in their collegiate home finale. Reed directly the Cougar offense from the opening serve, collecting 55 assists as the Cougars (.264) hit at least .225 for the fourth straight match. Odbert posted a match-high 20 digs and served up three of the Cougars’ seven aces.
The match was a competitive affair as it featured 29 ties and more than two dozen lead changes, including nine ties and four lead changes in the second set, a frame USF won, 25-23.
The Cougars led the opening set 21-19 after a Johnson spike but Minot State turned the tables, using mixture of blocks and Cougar attack miscues to close out the frame on a 6-0 run and take the set 25-21. With the Beavers leading game two 23-22, the Cougars shook off the doldrums with a 3-0 burst that evened things at 1-1 with the first of Odbert’s two set-clinching service aces. Game three was tied at 15-all before a 6-1 run gave the Cougars a five point cushion at 21-16 en route to the 25-20 victory. Minot State enjoyed an early 10-8 lead in game four but USF replied with a three-point skein to go up 11-10. The sides traded points until the 17-17 mark, when a Minot service error put the Cougars up for good. Leading 24-21, USF finished off the Beavers with Odbert’s second set-clinching ace of the match.
Jen Dixon (16) led a trio of double-digit kill efforts by the Beavers, who also out-blocked USF 10-8.