Behind a bevy of standout performances, including a 22nd career double-double performance from senior outside hitter Chanda Goedken, USF (1-0) fought past a tough Mayville State (7-1) squad in five sets, 26-28, 25-14, 19-25, 25-23, 15-9, at the Dakota Wesleyan Labor Day Classic on Friday afternoon at the Corn Palace.
The win is the first season-opening victory for the Cougars since 2009 and tied the all-time series with Mayville State at 3-3.
“We want to credit Mayville State for a great match,” said USF head coach Joel McCartney. “Although we came out with the win, it certainly could have gone the other way.”
Goedken filled the stat sheet with 14 kills, 16 digs, five assists, two aces and a pair of block assists.
“A lot of credit should go to Chanda for her court presence throughout the match,” he added. “She is the kind of special athlete that can kick it up a notch when we need something big and she did that for us today.”
Sophomore Emily Johnson picked up right where she left off a year ago. The Cougars’ team leader in kills last season tallied match-highs in kills (15) and aces (4). She also added one solo block and two blocking assists to tie for the match high.
Classmate Samantha Lovell added 13 kills of her own and two blocking assists. Senior and Lincoln product Sarah Kohler recorded one of the best matches of her Cougar career, contributing 11 kills and two blocking assists.
Junior setter Alexa Reed shined in her Cougars’ debut, posting a double-double with 49 assists to go with 12 digs. The transfer from St. Leo University also tallied five kills on seven swings for a match-high .714 attack percentage.
“Alexa did a really nice job connecting with our middle offense and Sarah and Sam each had great matches on the receiving end of those sets.
The Comets were led by Josette Glatt’s 14 kills, while Hannah Smith added 11 kills along with 10 digs. Molly Hurrle dished 40 assists and Ashley Torgusson posted 24 digs.
After dropping the first set in extras, the Cougars hit .333 in the second set and blew it open toward the end, claiming it 25-14. Mayville took advantage of two early multiple-point stands to take the third 25-19 and USF came back to take the fourth set 25-23. USF raced to an early lead in the fifth and cruised to the 15-9 victory.
USF topped Mayville in every statistical category, including a .253-.193 lead in hitting percentage.
“We have a lot of work to do and we are a long distance away from where we want to be as a team,” McCartney said. “Being said... I wouldn't want to do it with any other group.”
USF continues play at the Labor Day Classic with an evening match tonight against Jamestown College (4-2).