SIOUX FALLS, S.D. Minot State University got the first win of the season out of the way on day one as the Beavers moved through host University of Sioux Falls 3-1 at the USF Active Ankle Volleyball Invitational Friday.
MSU also earned first-year head coach Travis Ward his first NCAA Division II win in the process. According to Ward, MSU's confidence rose in a loss to Bemidji in the season opener and kept on rising throughout the USF match.
"Yeah, it's probably a little inflated now. We had a talk after the match and made sure they understand this is no way the end," he said. "But in a positive way and they understand that. We had a ton of patience and took the swings we needed them to take."
The Beavers hammered USF early on, taking games 1 and 2 25-15, 25-14 respectively. The match tightened up from there as the Cougars squeaked by with a 25-23 win in the game 3 but MSU finished off the match with a 26-24 win in game 4.
"We got out of system a little in the third game and reverted back to some old habits," Ward said. "But overall you can't ask for more from an executing our game plan standpoint."
Jen Dixo continued a hot start as she hammered down a match-high 17 kills. Janice-Rose Reinbolt chipped in with 14 kills and an impressive .370 hitting percentage. MSU held a huge .324-.131 hitting percentage in hitting percentage.
Freshman setter Emily Byrne capped a huge day with 44 assists. She had 77 on the day. Sara Friesen earned heavy praise from her coach for her match as she finished with five kills on seven attempts.
"She was phenomenal," said Ward. "I guess it shows that the coach should have set her more. Jen had another great match and Janice played like a senior."
Alyssa Chambers finished with 13 kills to pace USF.
The Beavers (1-1 overall) play Waldorf College (Iowa) Saturday at noon and Fort Hays State University at 2 p.m. in day 2 of the tournament.
- MSU Sports
Magicians blank Saints
BISMARCK - The Minot High School soccer team got a goal in each half and 19 saves from goalie Ben Love to defeat Bismarck St. Mary's 2-0 on Friday.
MHS got off fast as John Wrona scored an unnasisted goal at the 1:10 mark of the first half.
The Magicians put the game away in the second as P.K Annan scored with an assist from Justin Crabtree.
- MDN staff