Winona State splits homestand, now 9-2 in NSIC play, 17-4 overall


Matthew Seckora/Winonan

Sam Thiel/Winonan

The Winona State University Volleyball team tried to avenge its loss on Saturday against Northern State, but fell 3-0 Friday in McCown Gymnasium. Elena Kruesel had her second double-double of the season in the effort.

Kruesel paved the way for the Warriors, recording 11 digs and dishing out 15 assists.

WSU’s offense wasn’t there, only hitting .134 as the Wolves were able to collect early leads en route to a 26-24 victory in the first set and a 25-21 win in the second set before putting the match away with a 25-20 win in the third set.

Bekah Saugen led the Warriors with nine kills and recorded a team-high 12 digs. Katie Froehle netted eight kills and seven digs while Paige Garriga contributed six and hit .500.

“Friday night for some reason we were flat with low energy and intensity levels. If we knew why, we would’ve tried something to change it,” said coach Dave Simon. “The tell tale sign was that Northern seemed to win all the long rallies which really swung the momentum and energy their way.”

The Winona State volleyball team was superb at the net in the match, delivering a 3-0 victory against MSU Moorhead Saturday in McCown Gymnasium.

Defensively, the Warriors blocked 11 total hits and allowed the Dragons to have a hitting percentage of just .156 throughout the match.

Winona State hit .245 on the match, including .309 in the first set.

Bekah Saugen led the Warriors with yet another double-double, netting a team-high 14 kills and 14 digs.

Katie Froehle cashed in 11 kills and hit .346 while Paige Garriga recorded eight.

Elena Kruesel and Kaley Jacobson each dished out 20 assists for WSU throughout the match.

“On Saturday we had a better offensive game because we passed better. We were able to establish our middle hitters and run our system,” junior Bekah Saugen said. “When we pass, we can run different plays and be a lot less predictable.”

Winona State held on to win the first set 28-26 before controlling the tempo in the second set, winning 25-17. WSU then finished off the Dragons with a 25-22 victory in the third set.

On the defensive end, Maggie Finkel led the way with 22 digs while Jacobson and Froehle each had ten.     Garriga recorded seven total blocks while Horihan and Laura Zeamer had four in their phenomenal performance at the net.

“It was really pleasing to see how well we responded and rebounded on Saturday. Our warm-up was crisp, our energy level was strong and we had that confident swagger back. We were able to win big points and feed off of them. Since both teams were coming off Friday night losses, winning the first set was going to set a critical tone to the match. We won it 28-26 and you could just see the difference in the body language of our players compared to them,” coach Dave Simon said. “So it was this energy and confidence that allowed our passers to be more focused and pass serve receive better which allowed our setters more options and gave our hitters more confidence to attack aggressively.”

Winona State is now 17-4 overall and 9-2 in NSIC play. They will hit the road next week with three consecutive road games, starting with Upper Iowa on Tuesday.

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Matthew Seckora/Winonan