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DWU sweeps Mount Marty in GPAC volleyball match

Dakota Wesleyan University swept its first conference match on Tuesday. And swept its first conference foe for the first time in three seasons. "I have been here for three years and we have never beaten a conference opponent in three sets," Dakot...

Dakota Wesleyan University's Sydney Eddy celebrates a point with teammates Emily Pengilly (4) and Taylor Spence (1) against Mount Marty College on Tuesday at the Corn Palace.
Dakota Wesleyan University's Sydney Eddy celebrates a point with teammates Emily Pengilly (4) and Taylor Spence (1) against Mount Marty College on Tuesday at the Corn Palace. (Ryan Deal/Republic)

Dakota Wesleyan University swept its first conference match on Tuesday.

And swept its first conference foe for the first time in three seasons.

"I have been here for three years and we have never beaten a conference opponent in three sets," Dakota Wesleyan coach Lindsay Wilber said. "So that was kind of exciting."

The Tigers defeated Mount Marty College in straight sets in a Great Plains Athletic Conference college volleyball match at the Corn Palace. DWU won 26-24, 25-23 and 25-11.

Playing at home for the first time this season, DWU (3-0, 1-0 GPAC) fell behind early against the Lancers.

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"I think it was a little bit jittery, just having our first home match and playing in the Corn Palace," DWU senior outside hitter Lauren Tadlock said. "I think it was a little bit of excitement and nerves."

The Tigers trailed 5-0 in the first set as the Lancers had three aces in the first five points.

"They had some really aggressive servers and they were trying to get us out of our system," said Tadlock, who pounded out a match-high 14 kills.

The Lancers finished with seven total aces in the match.

"That is what Mount Marty's game is right now," Wilber said. "They don't have a lot of big powerful hitters, but they can pass the ball really, really well. They have some good jump servers. We were fortunate that they missed four serves in that first set."

Mount Marty continued to lead the first set, but DWU tied it four different times. The Tigers took their first lead at 24-23 on a block by Tadlock. After a Mount Marty point, Tadlock put down a kill and an ace to cap off the come-from-behind first set win.

"It was a pretty good momentum builder," Tadlock said about the first set. "Because we really wanted to come out that second set, keep that energy and keep that momentum and really just build up from there."

The Tigers squeezed out another back-and-forth win in set two. There were seven lead changes in the set and DWU broke away from a 21-21 tie with a 4-1 spurt.

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DWU then built a comfortable lead in the third set and cruised to the win to complete the sweep.

"We focused on the first five points of that last third set and then I could feel the tone was kind of set there," Wilber said.

Dakota Wesleyan will host Dickinson State and Clarke University this Friday during the Corn Palace Classic. DWU will host Dickinson at noon and Clarke at 6 p.m. The Tigers will then play Valley City State at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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