Volleyball Loses Hard Fought Battle With Minnesota Morris

MEDFORD – The No. 23 volleyball team lost a hard fought battle, 3-2, with visiting Minnesota Morris during The New England Invitational on Saturday afternoon in Cousens Gym.  The Jumbos won the first set, lots the second and third, and then won the fourth set in extra points to force the fifth set, where they fell 15-10. 

Brigid Bell had 13 kills and 14 digs for the Jumbos Saturday

With the win the Cougars improve to 6-2 on the season.  The loss was the first of the season for the Jumbos, who are now 2-1. 

The Jumbos took an early lead in the first set, but the Cougars caught up quick and took a lead of their own. They would hold on to that lead until the Jumbos were able to tie things at 17.  Thanks to back to back kills from Marissa Ekness the Cougars took the lead again, but the two teams would trade points until things were locked again at 22.  The Jumbos got a kill from sophomore Brigid Bell, an ace from sophomore Rachel Furash and then a Cougar error gave them the 25-22 win in set one. 

The second set was close at the beginning as the two teams traded points and the lead.  With things locked at ten, Minnesota Morris took the lead and they were able to hold on to that lead for the duration of the second set to pick up the 25-20 win and even the match at one. 

The Cougars and the Jumbos battled it out again in the third set and things were close for most of the set.  With the score tied at 17 the Cougars got a kill from Rachel Mathias, followed by a kill from Bekah Morris, an ace from Sierra Nori and another kill from Mathias to take the 21-17 lead.  But, the Jumbos would not give up and they came back with two Cougar errors, an ace from Bell and kills from freshman Jennifer Ryan and junior Mackenzie Bright to take a 22-21 lead.  The Cougars responded with four straight points to take the 25-22 win in the set and a 2-1 lead in the match. 

After battling back and forth in the fourth set, the Jumbos were down 24-22 when Bell turned in a kill a Cougar error tied things at 24.  After the two teams traded points the Jumbos got kills from Bell and Bright to take a 27-25 win in the fourth set to even the match at two. 

The Jumbos were ahead early in the fifth set, but with the set tied at four the Cougars took the lead and did not let go, picking up the 15-10 win in the set to take the match. 

Ekness finished with a match-high 20 kills for the Cougars and Morgan Miller added 17, while Mathias finished with 16.  Miller also added eight blocks to her day, and Mia Frick helped with five blocks.  Ekness helped with 18 digs as well, and Bekah Morris and Katie Reitsma finished with 21 and 24 digs, respectively.  Layne Herrmann took care of the setting, finishing with 55 assists. 

For the Jumbos Bell finished with 13 kills and sophomores Christina Nwankpa and Maddie Stewart each added eight.  Bright finished with seven kills and three blocks, and Ryan added three blocks as well.  Sophomore Kelly Klimo racked up 30 digs for the first time this year, and senior Alex Garrett added 15 and Bell chipped in 14 digs.  Sophomore Rachel Furash and junior Angela Yu were the setters for the Jumbos, finishing with 22 and 24 assists, respectively. 

Both teams are back in action later in the day as the Cougars will take on Bowdoin at 2 pm followed by a 4 pm scheduled match between Tufts and Marymount.