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Lightning Almost Strikes Twice In Women's Volleyball's Split With USB

After losing the first two sets of the 2018-19 MCAC Regular Season, Women's Volleyball showed their resilience in front of a boisterous home crowd by winning the third and fourth and then came back from an 8-10 deficit in the fifth to defeat USB 15-12, winning the match 3-2.

Fourth-year power, Haley Ginter pumped 13 kills for CMU while rookie middle Mackenzy Groot scored 7, leading her team with a 54.5% kill efficiency.

On Saturday night, the two first-year head coaches would square off again in Saint-Boniface. Just like they did twenty-four hours earlier it would be new Rouges' boss Evan Turenne who would get the jump on the Roy Rodriguez-led Blazers. Les Rouges took the first set 25-21 and the second 25-19 to grab a 2-0 strangle-hold on the match.

Trailing 7-15 in the third, with the match destined for a 3-0 USB win, Rodriguez called an important timeout that sparked his team. CMU collected a valuable sideout after Jana Klassen's kill ended a long rally, getting the fourth-year to the service line. The fourth-year outside hitter would serve for four points, two by ace while the fourth came from a Chloe Friesen solo block that forced a USB timeout at 12-15.

Tied at 21-21, Friesen would score a huge kill on a quick attack, bringing rookie setter Annika Loeppky to the service line. Loeppky's ace and a USB attacking error made it 24-22 in favour of the Blazers and a final error for Les Rouges came shortly after Klassen's strong right side attack, gave CMU the set, renewing some hope for the visitors that the result could still be salvaged.

CMU would lead for a large portion of the fourth set, until a push from Les Rouges drew the home team level 20-20. A CMU attacking error gave USB their first match-point attempt at 23-24. Groot's kill put a stop to that, evening the score and a winning a sideout. After another CMU score, it was Ginter's turn to serve with a chance to win the set and force another five-setter, but a USB timeout iced the veteran left-side who's served out of bounds. 

Zoe Savoie had a second chance to win the match for USB, serving at 26-25 but Klassen tore a kill for a CMU sideout; her team-high 17th of the match. At 27-26 USB, rookie middle Bendu Dukuly came to the service line and finally put away the Blazers, serving an ace that climbed the tape and dropped helplessly behind the CMU front row. Klassen would finish with 17 kills to go with 12 digs and 3 aces.

The split leaves CMU with a record of 1-1 after two matches played against USB. The Red River Rebels are perched at the top of the MCAC standings at 2-0 after sweeping the ACC Cougars while idle Providence will wait until next weekend to open their 2018-19 MCAC season. The next action for CMU is November 16th and 17th when the Blazers host the ACC Cougars.



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