​Viking volleyball wins first conference game


The Augustana volleyball team took home its first NSIC conference win after beating the University of Minnesota Crookston in three matches.

The Vikings previously held a 5-12 record—the five wins came from non-conference games, leaving nine losses on their NSIC record. The Golden Eagles also seemed faced a tough season with a 3-15 overall record.

This win was a nice change for the Vikings, according to outside hitter Courtney Place.

“We’ve had a really hard beginning of our season.” Place said. “We’ve played some of the best teams in the country, and I think that tonight we just wanted to come out, have fun, and be ourselves and not feel pressured. I thought we played really relaxed and we did a good job.”

The Vikings and the Golden Eagles started the first set with a tight battle, but the Vikings pulled ahead after the 13-point mark. From there they quickly worked up to the winning 25-point mark, leaving Minnesota Crookston at 14.

The second set started out much like the first: Minnesota Crookston and Augie fighting back and forth for points. After a kill by Izzy Sommers that brought the Vikings to six points—just one above the Golden Eagles—the match took off big time for Augustana, giving it the edge it needed to earn a 25-18 victory.

The Vikings slowed down in the third set. After the Golden Eagles took the lead, Augustana quickly fought back but saw continued adversity, especially after a bad set and a few attack errors. In the endthe Vikings rallied and beat Minnesota Crookston 25-20.

According to Place, the win came from both serving and setting.

“I think we served really well, we got them out of system so that blocking was easier for us and defense was easier,” Place said. “I also think that Avery [Thorson] did a great job setting all of us and she got all of us one-on-one, so it was easier to score.”

Place and Thorson worked together to lead the team on offense with 13 kills and 35 assists, respectively. Overall, the Vikings had a .261 hitting percentage.

Head coach Jennifer Jacobs also believes that the team played well.

“We were really fast in transition and we stayed in system on some receive passing, which was huge,” she said.

Jacobs said that comfort was an important component in the win. “We’ve been on the road for two weekends in a row in some tough match-ups and I think being home is always fun,” she said. “I think that’s just a natural relaxation space for us to be in.”

Jacobs also said that the team’s close relationship makes playing together easier.

“One thing I have to give it to the team for is that they’ve had a very tough go in the beginning of the conference and they’ve managed to stay very close and tight-knit as a friendship group, which definitely shows up in other matches,” she said. “I’m proud of them for that.”

The Vikings will take on Bemidji state tomorrow at the Elmen Center. The game is set to start at 5 p.m.

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