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Morningside spoils DWU’s senior night

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Dakota Wesleyan University's Jadie DeLange blocks an attempt by Morningside College's Madison Hartman (8) during a match on Wednesday at the Christen Family Athletic Center. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Dakota Wesleyan University could not put away Morningside when it mattered most.

The Tigers dueled with the Mustangs throughout the four-set match, but it was Morningside that found ways to pull away late in sets to upend DWU on senior night Wednesday at Christen Family Athletic Center, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18 and 25-20.

Already eliminated from contention to qualify for the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament, the Tigers were seeking to end the season on a high note, but ultimately finish with a 20-12 record overall and 4-11 in conference play.

Both teams battled in a see-saw first set, but with the match tied 19-19, Morningside scored six of the final eight points. In the second set, DWU grabbed a 13-12 lead and held off the Mustangs behind six kills by Rebecca Frick.

Morningside (16-10, 8-8 GPAC) bounced back in the third set, controlling the majority, until the Tigers pulled within 19-16. However, the Mustangs once again tallied six of the final eight points to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

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The fourth set saw DWU take control, but when Morningside tied the match at 19-all, the Tigers could not answer. The Mustangs recorded six of the last seven points to win the match.

Frick finished with 18 kills to go along with 12 digs in her final collegiate match. Wagner native and fellow senior Emily Brunsing also tallied 11 kills, while Mariah Gloe added seven kills and 11 digs. Bridgett Knobbe pitched in 45 assists and 14 digs, Mallory Cooper added 15 digs and Colome native Callie Heath had seven kills.

Morningside’s Krista Zenka had a match-high 19 kills, while Emma Gerber pitched in 15 and Madison Hartman had 14. Callie Alberico had 53 assists and 14 digs and Kayla Harris came up with a match-best 22 digs.

NOTES: Frick finishes her DWU career second all-time with 1,740 kills, while her 1,465 digs are eighth. Cooper ends her career seventh all-time with 1,582 digs. Knobbe moved into third all-time with 3,289 assists with one season of eligibility remaining.

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