No. 7 SMSU Holds off MSU Moorhead


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MARSHALL, Minn. - Sara Graf dished out a single-match school record 73 assists and Kasey Loeslie recorded a career-high 25 kills to help No. 7 Southwest Minnesota State to a 3-2 (29-27, 25-27, 25-20, 24-26, 15-13) conference win over Minnesota State Moorhead Friday night in Marshall.

SMSU improves to 17-2 (6-1, NSIC), while MSUM drops to 9-9 (3-3, NSIC).

The Graf -to-Loeslie combination proved to be effective all night; Loeslie got her 25 kills off 44 swings and just three errors for a match-high .500 hitting percentage.

Balance in SMSU's hitting attack was the difference maker as five Mustang spikers hit double-digits in the kills column.  Laura Hegerle checked in with 12 kills, Devin Diedrich with 13, Maggie Geske with 14 and Tory Brouwer with 17.

Sara Quiram led SMSU's defensive attack with 25 digs, but she was not the only Mustang in double digits in the dig column as Graf, Geske, and Brittany Wenzel each had at least 11 digs.

In front of 777 fans at SMSU's PE Gym, MSU Moorhead forced extra points in the closing moments of the first set, eventually giving up a Diedrich kill to give SMSU the set win.  The Dragons, however, put themselves on the opposite end of the same situation at the end of the second set, again forcing extra points, but this time coming out victorious off a Cathy Turner kill.

After winning the third set by five, SMSU gave way late in the fourth set.  In extra points again, a Dragon block gave the visiting team the set victory.

The Mustangs regrouped and took control of the fifth and held off another late MSUM rally to take the match.

Turner's 22 kills and Leigh Splittsoesser's 62 assists led MSUM.

SMSU finishes off its two-match weekend set tomorrow at 5 p.m. when it takes on Minnesota, Crookston in Marshall.

Article courtesy of SW Minnesota State athletics.

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