SIOUX FALLS, S.D — The Augustana volleyball team continued its hot streak with a sweep over cross-town rival Sioux Falls. The Vikings (17-8, 10-6 NSIC) have now won a season-high five matches in a row while the Cougars (14-10, 6-10 NSIC) have dropped their past five matches. With the win, head coach Jennifer Jacobs earns her 50th-career win.
Sioux Falls was looking to sweep the season series and started out hot building an 8-5 lead early forcing a timeout from Augustana. Out of the timeout, the Vikings went on a 6-1 run to take an 11-9 lead which then forced the Cougars to take a timeout of their own. Just like Augustana, USF went on a 5-0 run out of the timeout to take the lead back at 14-11.
The Vikings answered back with a key 4-0 run to tie things up and halt any momentum the Cougars were building. With the score tied at 18-all, Augustana used a 5-1 run to take a late 22-19 lead and later had a 24-22 lead. A USF kill cut the lead to 24-23 but Payton Rosendahl hammered one home to give the Vikings the first set, 25-23.
In the second stanza, both teams traded points in the opening moments before Augie mounted a 6-0 run to take a 9-4 lead. The Vikings used another 4-0 run to take a 15-8 lead and later a commanding 18-12 lead. USF would chip away at the lead over the next few moments, cutting the lead down to 22-20 which forced a timeout from Augustana.
The Vikings used back-to-back attacking errors by the Cougars to take a 24-21 lead but USF would answer back with back-to-back kills to make the score 24-23. Maddy Guetter would use one of her match-high 12 kills to give Augustana the second set, 25-23.
Augie used its momentum from the two set wins to take an early 5-2 lead and later a 10-5 lead over the cross-town rivals. USF kept themselves within range after back-to-back points cutting the lead to 13-10, but Augustana used a 6-1 spurt to take a commanding 19-11 lead in the third set. The Vikings scored the last five-out-six points in the set capped off by a kill from Grace Haberland to take the third and final set, 25-14.
With the win, the Vikings have now won four matches against opponents that are currently or were once ranked in the AVCA top-25 this season.
The Vikings were led on offense by Guetter with 12 kills on a .300 hitting percentage and Haberland with 11 kills. Guetter also recorded three blocks while Haberland recorded seven digs and one ace. Avery Thorson led the charge with a team-high 32 assists on the night. The sophomore also recorded three kills and 4 blocks.
Defensively, Abby Benson had a strong night in the front row sending back six blocks. Erika Bute and Lexie Langley led the charge for the Vikings with 14 digs a piece on the night.
As a team, Augustana recorded 40 kills, four aces and 33 assists. Defensively, the Vikings had one of their better outings recorded 10 blocks and 56 digs.
"Defending our home court against the cross-town rival is always nice," Jacobs said. "We came out with determination tonight and we are playing really steady ball right now."
The Vikings hit the road to take on UMary on Friday at 6 p.m. and Minot State on Saturday at 2 p.m. before hosting No. 7 Northern State and MSU Moorhead in the final weekend of the regular season.