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Volleyball Drops Keweenaw Classic Opener To Nationally-Ranked Minnesota Duluth

Photo Courtesy Sam Downs
Photo Courtesy Sam Downs

HOUGHTON, Mich. - The Lake Superior State University women's volleyball team's aspirations for an upset of nationally seventh-ranked Minnesota Duluth at the Michigan Tech Keweenaw Classic were quickly extinguished this Friday (Sept. 8) morning as the Lakers dropped a 3-0 non-conference decision (25-12, 25-17, 25-13) to the Bulldogs at MTU's Student Development Complex Gymnasium in Houghton, Mich.    

The loss drops the Lakers to 1-2 overall while Minnesota Duluth improves its overall mark to 4-1 this fall.

Senior outside hitter Brooke Williams led LSSU with seven kills and produced a team-leading .227 attack percentage.  Senior outside hitter Jen Marren and sophomore outside hitter Amanda Reid contributed with four kills apiece as UMD would register a 51-23 advantage in kills.  Junior setter Lauren Lukasik compiled 16 assists and supplied five digs on the defensive end.

Minnesota Duluth's Makenzie Morgen was the lone player in the contest to compile double-figure kills with a match-best 15 and hit for a .412 percentage as the Bulldogs produced a .378 hitting efficiency to the Lakers' .125 attack proficiency. 

Senior libero Paige Gotham's 15 digs was tops in the match, finishing just ahead of Minnesota Duluth's Makenzie Morgen and Keena Seiffert, who had 13 and 12 digs, respectively.

In the opening set, Lake Superior State jumped out to a 3-1 advantage before UMD rallied to outscore the Lakers 10-3 to go ahead 11-6.  A Jen Marren kill narrowed the gap to four points at 11-7, but UMD would score seven of the next 10 points.  The Bulldogs proceeded to close out the set in impressive style with a 7-1 scoring spurt.

The second set started out with neither team leading more than three points through the first 18 points scored.  The two teams were knotted up at nine-all before UMD reeled off seven straight points to take a 16-9 lead.  The Lakers managed to close within eight points (20-12) on a service ace by Karlee Weissend only to have the Bulldogs increase their lead back to double digits the rest of the way.  UMD finished the set by posting a .436 attack percentage while LSSU hit at a .156 clip.

Minnesota Duluth began the third and final set by surging out to a 18-6 lead and never looked back.  The narrowest margin for the Lakers the rest of the way would be at nine (19-10) following a Brooke Williams' kill.  LSSU generated its best hitting percentage in the match in the third set by .214 with nine kills on 28 attempts while the Bulldogs were .355 in attack efficiency.

The Lakers continue Keweenaw Classic action this Friday (Sept. 8) afternoon taking on the University of Mary (N.D.) in a 3:30 p.m. (EDT) non-league tilt.