No. 4 SMSU Defeats No. 20 Augustana in Three Games


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MARSHALL, Minn. - Devin Diedrich had a match-high 15 kills and Sara Graf dished out a match-high 41 assists to lead No. 4 Southwest Minnesota State to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-21) conference victory over No. 20 Augustana College Friday night in Marshall.

SMSU moves to 22-3 (11-2, NSIC), while AC drops to 18-7 (10-2, NSIC).

Diedrich was unstoppable, flying high above the net  and controlling the hitting tempo for the Mustangs throughout.  She was the lone Mustang hitter to crack the double-digit mark in kills.  Laura Hegerle and Tory Brouwer each chipped in nine.

Sarah Quiram led a strong SMSU defensive effort with 18 digs, while Maggie Geske finished the night with another 12.

Graf's 41 assists in just three sets put her assists per set average for the match at 13.67.

The Vikings jumped out to an early lead in the first set.  But trailing 12-8, SMSU put together a 7-0 run to take the lead for the remainder of the set.

The train that gathered steam in the first set continued to gain speed down the tracks as SMSU grabbed the lead early and was never derailed, taking the set by a decisive five points.

A final display of solid hitting and aggressive defense in the third set was all the Mustangs needed to wrap up the match.

SMSU's hitting attack on the evening was especially efficient.  The Mustangs killed a third of their attempts in the first two sets and were just under the .300 mark for the final set.

AC had to deal with scrappy play at the net by SMSU all night.  At points, the Vikings struggled to get a ball across SMSU's unpenetratable front row.   The Mustangs had 10 stuffs to AC's three.

Kati Newgard paced the Viking offense with 11 kills, while Lisa Hoegh recorded 31 assists.

SMSU meets its second ranked opponent of the weekend tomorrow when the Mustangs host No. 23 Wayne State at 5 p.m.

Article courtesy of Southwest Minnesota State athletics.

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