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No. 24 Sioux Falls volleyball knocks off Minot State

Minot State setter Mackenzie Froehlich (center) lets out a scream after Sioux Falls puts the ball into the net during an NSIC volleyball match Friday evening inside the Minot State Dome. Alex Eisen/MDN

The newly renovated Minot State Dome was put to use for the first time, and senior outside hitter Shelby Spuller put down her 1,000th collegiate kill.

All of that fanfare was spoiled by No. 24-ranked Sioux Falls Friday evening, as the undefeated Cougars (9-0, 1-0 NSIC) swept the winless Beavers (0-9, 0-1 NSIC) by set scores of 25-19, 25-20, 25-9.

“It comes down to beginning to know how to win,” MSU head coach Dana Cordova said. “In the first two games we made mistakes, but we came back and got the next one. In the third set, we kind of got down and we went to being quiet, not talking, and that’s when somebody has to step up and be that court leader.”

MSU freshman Amarrie Welton got off to a fast start in the first set with a block and two kills to put the Beavers up 3-1. Welton finished with a team-high nine kills.

Momentum shifted quickly as MSU blinked and found themselves down 18-9. Kills from Spuller and Welton down the stretch did cut the deficit, but the damage was done.

Sioux Falls took the opening set 25-19.

“It’s about executing, putting the ball away and winning those crucial points,” said Spuller, who picked up her 1,000th career kill in the second set.

“It’s a big accomplishment,” Spuller said. “I couldn’t do it without my team, obviously.”

Cordova added: “Shelby brings that offensive mindset. We know a lot of teams are going to try and have a double block on her, so she creates a lot of one-on-one opportunities for our other hitters.”

The highlight-reel play of the second set was a pancake dig by junior setter Mackenzie Froehlich, which led to a point off a block put up by Welton and senior Hayley Swain.

An ace by junior libero Karli Koza had the Beavers up 17-16.

The second set was tied for a final time at 19-19. A controversial no-call on an attack into the net, which the official deemed was touched by MSU and turned into a point for Sioux Falls, started a downward spiral for the Beavers for the rest of the set.

Six of the final seven points went to the Cougars with Abby Feyereisen ended the frame with a kill.

“The third set we just got in a rut and nobody on the court kind of stepped up to pull us together,” Cordova said.

Sioux Falls took control of the third set early and didn’t look back, taking the frame with ease at 25-9.

Kasandra Springer (15) and Feyereisen (13) each finished with double digits in kills for the Cougars.

Minot State hosts another ranked opponent, No. 9 Southwest Minnesota State at 2 p.m. this afternoon inside the MSU Dome.

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.

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