NCAA VOLLEYBALL: Culhane moves up SMSU wins list after sweep

ST. CLOUD – The No. 8 Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs swept its 10th opponent of the season in a Northern Sun Intercollege Sun matchup Friday night on the road against St. Cloud State.

SMSU improves to 18-5 overall and 13-2 in the NSIC, while the Huskies drop to 12-11 overall and 6-9 in conference action.

The 25-15, 25-23, 25-23 win put Mustang head coach Terry Culhane in a two-way tie with Jeri Madden for second place in career wins (254) at SMSU.

Abbey Thissen sparked the Mustang offense, collecting 20 kills and finishing the match with a .500 hitting percentage. As a team, SMSU hit .265. Claire Sames contributed 11 kills and hit .429.

SMSU was also sharp on the defensive side, recording 10 total blocks, lead by Thissen’s six assists. Whitney Burmeister and Rachel Westby each tallied nine digs for the Mustangs, while Emilee Gutzmer had seven.

SMSU will continue action on the road, taking on No. 4 Minnesota Duluth at 4 p.m. today.

SMSU 252525



Ace Serves: Rachel Westby 2, Ellen Degler 2, Emilee Gutzmer 1, Nico Schmidt 1.

Kills: Abbey Thissen 20, Claire Sames 11, McKell Anderson 6, Whitney Burmeister 4, Schmidt 3, Sarah Parker 2, Jessica Thelemann.

Digs: Westby 9, Burmeister 9, Gutzmer 7, Degler 5, Bailey Kirchhoff 3, Sames 2, Thelemann 1.

Set Assists: Gutzmer 37, Westby 7, Degler 1.

Blocks (solo-assisted): Thissen 0-6, Parker 1-3, Sames 1-2, Thelemann 1-2, Gutzmer 0-1.