NCAA VOLLEYBALL: SMSU hits way past UMary

BISMARCK, N.D. – The No. 7 Southwest Minnesota State University volleyball team hit a season-high .368 to sink The University of Mary in straight sets 25-12, 25-15, 25-17 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action on Friday night.

SMSU improved to 11-3, 6-0 in the NSIC with the win, while U-Mary dropped to 3-10, 0-6 in the NSIC.

“I think we played well enough to win and I thought we did some good things, but really were inconsistent with some things,” Mustangs head coach Terry Culhane said. “We didn’t defend the way we are capable of and, against a better Minot State team today, we’re going to have to do that.”

Whitney Burmeister led SMSU offensively with 13 kills and also dug out eight attacks in the match. Burmeister was the only Mustang to reach double-digits in kills. McKell Anderson had a solid night for the Mustangs as she recorded nine kills on 19 attacks (.368).

“Whitney Burmeister took some good swings and our middles were more effective than they have been. Claire Sames, Jessica Thelemann and Sarah Parker played and did well,”?Culhane said.

U-Mary struggled to get things together offensively as the Marauders committed 20 errors and only managed 25 kills in the match. U-Mary finished with a .062 hitting percentage (25-20-81).

“We didn’t make a lot of errors, but (UMary) made some errors that made it easier for us,”?Culhane said.

SMSU recorded a season-high five service aces in the sweep as Burmeister and Emilee Gutzmer each finished with a pair, while Rachel Westby recorded one.

SMSU controlled the match throughout as the Mustangs surrendered the lead just once and had the score tied twice.

SMSU25 25 25

UMary12 15 17


Ace Serves: SMSU-Whitney Burmeister 2, Emilee Gutzmer 2, Rachel Westby 1; UM-Janell Finkbeiner 1.

Kills: Burmeister 13, McKell Anderson 9, Abbey Thissen 6, Claire Sames 5, Jessica Thelemann 5; UM-Alexis Jacobs 8, Paige Smith 7, Lauren Boldt 4.

Digs: Westby 9, Burmeister 8, Gutzmer 8; UM-Alex Brown 6, Jacobs 5.

Set Assists: Gutzmer 32; UM-Finkbeiner 11.

Blocks (solo-assists): Anderson 1-0, Burmeister 0-1, Sames 0-1, Thelemann 0-1, Thissen 0-1; UM-Smith 0-4, Morgan Dake 0-2, Jacobs 0-1, Allison Adams 0-1.