The HU volleyball team has this non-conference routine down pat. Now they have to figure out a way to extend it to MIAC matchups. Hamline made it 14 in a row against non-MIAC foes with a 3-0 sweep of North Central in the first of two matches Wednesday at Hutton Arena.
Unfortunately, they ran into a stubborn St. Catherine's team that managedtot get points when needed for a closer-than-it-looked 3-0 defeat. The Pipers are now 14-6 overall, 0-6 in the MIAC.
The Pipers quickly dissuaded the Rams from any ideas of ending their string at the onset. Led by Stephanie Kaup (who had four kills in four tries), HU had a whopping .577 kill percentage en route to a 25-5 victory in the opening set. The Rams (1-17) righted themselves a bit and jumped to a 7-2 lead in the second set only to see Hamline come roaring back for a 25-14 decision.
Hamline then took that momentum into the third set for a 25-3 verdict that clinched the match.
For the second match in a row, Paige Walters led the way in kills with 11. Sam Greeney-Hamlin had nine and Kaup finished with eight. Hamline's .466 kill percentage ranks as the second best ever mark in school history. (The all-time record is .500 set against Minn-Morris in a 2007 match.) Greeney-Hamlin ended with a .571 percentage, seventh best ever.
Becka Mozes (pictured at right) finished with 34 assists. It is a career high for her and the most by any Hamline player this season. Lynsey Reimer added 16 digs.
The evening match with the Wildcats was close in nearly every aspect. In the first set, it was tied as late as 19-19 before SCU went on a late tear that resulted in a 25-22 decision. There was more of the same in the middle set. There was six ties before SCU finally broke clean for a 25-20 verdict.
The visitors jumped to an early five point lead in the third set only to see the Pipers slowly claw their way back into the match. Hamline rallied from a 20-23 deficit to force a 24-all tie. A pair of Caitlyn Gottwald kills did the trick. The Wildcats (9-9, 3-3 MIAC), who only outhit the Pipers in kills by 37-36, then took the last two points to decide the match.
Katie Ayres' 12 kills led the offense. Mozes had another productive evening with 27 assists. Hamline recorded 62 digs, a high number for a three-set match. Mozes and Reimer had 13 each. Gottwald recorded a dozen and Michelle Mattke chipped in with 10.
HU remains home for another week. They host Luther in a non-conference match Saturday, October 6 at Hutton Arena at 12:00 p.m.
North Central boxscore
St. Catherine's boxscore