SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Augustana) — The Augustana volleyball team dominated in front of the home crowd on Friday night, winning 25-15, 25-18, 25-18 against the Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles.
The win moves the Vikings to 6-9 overall and 3-4 in NSIC play, while the loss drops the Golden Eagles to 3-12 overall and 1-6 in NSIC action.
Maya Wente had it rolling offensively, tallying 16 kills while hitting .519 to fuel the Vikings. Reagan Jansen collected nine kills, and Piper Asche, Callie Hohenhaus, and Kia Kriener each recorded six kills.
Erika Bute dug out 17 attacks, while Lucy Bartee added 10 digs to lead the defense. Bartee also added 45 assists, a pair of blocks, and a kill. AU played a season-high 14 players in the match, with 13 recording either a kill or a dig.
The Vikings outhit the Golden Eagles .312-.122 while recording more kills (53-22), digs (51-33), and aces (7-5).
AU opened the match with three of the first four points, as Kriener delivered a kill and Hohenhaus delivered a pair to jump out to an early advantage. UMC claimed its first lead at 4-3, but the Vikings responded with a 6-1 run, led by three Jansen kills, to retake the lead at 9-5. After a pair of Golden Eagle points, AU responded with a 12-3 run with four kills each from Kriener and Wente powering the Vikings to a 21-10 lead. That would get cut to as few as eight, but a 3-1 run to end the set handed AU a 1-0 advantage.
Set two saw a nearly identical start, as an Asche kill, Asche and Hohenhaus block, and Jansen kill gave the Vikings a 3-1 lead before a 4-0 run put UMC ahead 5-3. The Golden Eagles led as late as 10-9 before a 10-3 AU barrage handed them a 19-13 lead. The Vikings held that lead to 24-18, when a Brooke Berens kill closed the set and gave AU a 2-0 lead into the break.
Following the intermission, the Golden Eagles caught fire, scoring the first five points and led by as many as six at 9-3. The Vikings began to chip away from there, closing the gap to 13-11 before a 3-0 UMC run gave them a 16-11 lead. Wente took the match into her own hands from there, delivering six kills in a 10-0 run to pump AU ahead 21-16, and, after a pair of UMC points, recorded another kill and block assist while Kiylah Franke added a pair of aces as part of a 4-0 run to close the match.
The Vikings return home Saturday afternoon, hosting Bemidji State at 5 p.m., at the Elmen Center.