BULLDOGS ROMP TO 3-0 WIN OVER NORTHERN MICHIGAN IN HOME OPENER
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
For nearly 20 years, the University of Minnesota Duluth has opened the home portion of its schedule the same way: with a victory at Romano Gymnasium. The Bulldogs kept that decades-long trend going Tuesday night, romping to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-21) victory over Northern Michigan University before an announced crowd of 812.
No. 6 UMD (5-0) struggled with ball control out of the gate, causing the Bulldogs to get off to a slow start. With his club sputtering early in the opening set, Bulldog head coach Jim Boos took a timeout in an effort to weather the storm. After addressing the issues that had plagued the passing game, UMD recuperated out of the break. The Bulldogs found a rhythm from there, getting in system much more consistently throughout the remainder of the frame. A 20-20 tie in the opening set quickly turned into a one-set advantage for UMD, which ended the set on a 5-1 run behind a series of Wildcat errors and back-to-back kills by outside hitter Kate Lange.
The latter two sets played out in similar fashion, with the two teams battling for position early, only to see UMD pull away down the stretch. The Bulldogs disrupted a tightly contested second game, turning a 10-8 advantage into a comfortable lead on a 9-3 run. UMD would win that frame 25-14, setting the tone for a short-lived third set. Following the intermission, the Bulldogs stormed out to a 5-0 lead in game No. 3. Northern Michigan would climb back into contention, knotting the set at 7-7, but faded shortly thereafter. Sophomore outside hitter Aly Kujawa put an exclamation point on the straight-set victory, putting away match point to hand the Wildcats (4-1) their first loss of ths season.
Senior middle blocker Kalli Lochner paced the Bulldog offense in efficiency; belting 10 kills on 16 swings against just one error. A 2011 first team All-American, Lange ripped a game-high 13 kills and collected her fourth double-double with 10 digs as she nears the 1,000-kill plateau for her career. Jaclyn Barrette produced another double-double at setter, dishing out 38 assists and scooping 11 digs.
The Bulldogs, who have not lost a home opener since 1995, will now have 72 hours to recharge their batteries before hosting the UMD Volleyball Classic this weekend at Romano. UMD will take to the floor for four matches during the two-day tourney, including clashes with Erskine, Shippensburg, Ferris State, and Minnesota, Crookston.
Return to all news.