Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Volleyball reaches first NCAA Tournament in history

Volleyball reaches first NCAA Tournament in history

John DiSalle / Winonan

The Winona State University volleyball team was granted the five seed in the NCAA Tournament after defeating Augustana University in the first round of the NSIC Tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D. Three days later, the Warriors fell to the No. 1 Concordia University St. Paul to exit the NSIC semifinals.

In the first round, the Warriors met the No. 4 Augustana Vikings. The Warriors had defeated the Vikings in the previous two regular season matches and this match would be no different. Winona State won the match in four sets (20-25, 34-32, 25-19, 25-23).

Augustana came out of the locker room and took the first set 25-20. After a closely contested first set, the match became even more deadlocked as the match was tied at 25 after a kill by junior Taylor Goar. Neither team pulled ahead until kills by junior Maria Fruechte and Goar won the set for the Warriors 34-32.

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After an instant classic second set, the Warriors came out of the locker room with a 5-1 start in the third set. The lead would not last long as the Vikings won four consecutive points to tie the set 5-5. The Warriors would go on to win the set 25-19. Junior McKenna Larsen had 11 assists and two kills to spark the Warriors.

Winona State was able to take the match victory in the fourth set with a score of 25-23. In this set, the Warriors actually hit a lower attack percentage than the Vikings, en route to their win.

This four-set victory above a higher seed propelled the Warriors into the semifinals where they met No. 1 Concordia Golden Bears.

In their regular season, the Warriors met the Golden Bears once and were swept 0-3. Unfortunately, this match told the same tale. Winona State was eliminated from the NSIC Tournament after losing to Concordia 17-25, 24-25, 20-25.

In the first set, Concordia jumped out to a quick lead 7-0. Winona State did not take the lead in this set and lost the first set 17-25. The Golden Bears held the Warriors to an attack percentage of just .156 percent, which, was the lowest attack percentage of the match for Winona State.

The second set was very tightly contested as the Golden Bears and Warriors were tied at 12. The set remained a battle as both teams would be tied again at 20. Unfortunately, the Golden Bears were too much for the Warriors and took the second set 23-25.

The third set was also very close as the teams were tied again at 15. Once again, the Golden Bears would be too much for the fifth-seeded Warriors, as they closed out the match with a third set victory 20-25.

Warriors’ Larsen out of Octono Falls, Wisc. was named to the 2016 NSIC Volleyball All-Tournament Team on Saturday, Nov. 19.

The Warriors were eliminated from the NSIC Conference Tournament but whether or not their season was over was in the hands of the NCAA Division II Volleyball Tournament selection committee.

On Monday night, the selection committee chose the Winona State Warriors to be the five seed in the Central Region of the tournament. This marks the first time in program history Winona State’s volleyball team is heading to the NCAA Tournament.

Head coach Joe Getzin said, “It is a very special moment in the history of the program. The program has been around for a long time and to finally achieve (tournament berth) speaks volumes for this team.”

Winona State  is scheduled to play the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs at the Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul, Minn. on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.

The Warriors have dropped both matches against the Bulldogs in the regular season.

“We haven’t put our best foot forward when we have played Duluth. I know that if we play how we play in other matches, it will be a much better match than we have showed so far,” Getzin said.

All matches in the Division II NCAA Tournament are broadcasted live on

-By John DiSalle

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