Sioux Falls (13-12, 4-11 NSIC) made it interesting in the third set, but Upper Iowa (15-9, 9-6 NSIC) came out with the three-set victory, 25-9, 25-15, 25-20, in the Dorman Gymnasium on Friday night.
Emily Johnson led the Cougars with nine kills while also chipping in six digs and three block assists. Chanda Goedken added eight kills and 10 scoops to go with a pair of aces. Sarah Kohler posted three kills and three block assists.
Alexa Reed dished 27 assists along with five digs and two aces.
The Cougars were out-hit by the Peacocks, .270-.029.
Two big Peacock runs helped Upper Iowa take a dominating 25-9 win in set one. An 11-2 start to the set, powered by three kills from Kayla Wagner, put the Peacocks on top. Goedken and Johnson both had two kills down the stretch, but the Peacocks closed the frame with an 8-4 stand, getting four straight Cougar attack errors, to claim the first set.
Upper Iowa captured a 25-15 set-two win. The score was tied 8-8 before the Peacocks got back-to-back points on a kill by Maryn Fulton and a Skylar Lesan service ace. The Cougars rallied to knot the frame at 11-11 with a Reed ace and Peacock error but Upper Iowa tallied a four-point skein to take a 15-11 lead. Upper Iowa extended its lead to 22-13 before the Cougars earned the sideout with a stab by Kellee Griese. The Peacocks ended the frame with a 3-1 stand to take the 2-0 lead into the break. Upper Iowa hit .250 in the second set.
A tight third set went to Upper Iowa, 25-20. The Peacocks held a commanding 9-1 lead after four and five-point stands that included three Amanda Weiss aces. The Cougars delivered a vicious rally to tie things at 10-10. Johnson posted three kills during the 9-1 run. After trading points on the next sequence, the Peacocks tallied five of the next six points to lead 16-12 and force the Cougar timeout. With Upper Iowa in front 20-15, USF posted a three-point skein on kills by Johnson and Michelle Ritland combined with a Peacock error to trim the deficit to 20-18. That’s as close as the visitors would get, as Upper Iowa ended the match with a 5-2 stand.
USF edged Upper Iowa 43-42 in digs, but the Peacocks won the rest of the stat categories.
The Cougars will travel to Winona State tomorrow. First serve is slated for 3 p.m.
Courtesy: Stephanie Pendrys, USF Media