NO. 6 UMD SUBDUES ST. CLOUD STATE; MOVES TO 19-2
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Ten up. Ten down. The University of Minnesota Duluth kept its perfect home record (10-0) in tact with a 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-17, 25-17) Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory over St. Cloud State University before a crowd of 505 Tuesday evening at Romano Gymnasium. The win gives the Bulldogs the season sweep of the Huskies, who fell to UMD by an identical score in St. Cloud on Sept. 18.
The Sixth-ranked Bulldogs (19-2 overall; 10-2 NSIC) competed with the tough serving of St. Cloud State (6-14; 2-10) throughout the entirety of the match. The Huskies totaled eight service aces (racking up two aces in each of the four individual sets) and constantly forced UMD out of system. St. Cloud State held a couple early leads in the opening set (8-5 and 13-7), but the Bulldogs fought their way back into the match following a timeout by head coach Jim Boos. After talking things over, UMD quickly knotted the first set back up at 14-14. From there, the two teams would find themselves in nine more ties throughout the set before the Bulldogs denied the Huskies on set point and claimed the first frame on a kill by junior All-American outside hitter Kate Lange.
"Bravo to St. Cloud for coming out and passing really well tonight. Looking at their set distribution they were able to move the ball around, which makes a team much more difficult to defend," Boos said after the match. "They gave our blockers fits for sure. We were not able to do some things even when we had them out of system."
St. Cloud State drew even in the second set, holding UMD to a combined attack percentage of .135 for the frame. The Huskies didn't fare much better in the second game (hitting a combined .142), but allowed the Bulldogs to register just 12 kills on their way to pulling even in front of the break. On the other side of intermission, a determined UMD squad took over after a change was made to the Bulldog lineup. Sophomore setter Jaclyn Barrette came on a few points into the third set, providing the UMD offense with a huge spark off the bench. Prior to Tuesday Barrette, who opened the season as the starting setter, had made sporadic appearances in low-pressure situations since last starting a match Sept. 7.
"You just have to be ready at all times, and as a teammate I want to be able to do my part for the team. At that moment, going in the game was what I needed to do," Barrette said. "I just went out there with the attitude that I had nothing to lose."
The Bulldogs cruised to matching 25-17 set victories in the third and fourth frames behind Barrette, who finished with 23 assists on the evening. Freshman starter Ashley Hinsch posted 27 assists in two-plus sets of action as UMD hit .319 for the match. Lange, freshman middle blocker Monica Turner and freshman outside hitter Mariah Scharf tied for the team lead with 14 kills each. Sophomores Katie Ledwell and Julie Rainey both came up with 14 digs to pace the UMD defense.
The Bulldogs remain at home for a weekend series with Winona State University and Upper Iowa University this Friday and Saturday.
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