Vikings Take Down Dakota State in Five Sets


VALLEY CITY, N.D. ( Five different Vikings had at least seven kills Wednesday night in Valley City as the Valley City State volleyball team survived a five-set match against Dakota State.

The Vikings picked up the conference victory by scores of 26-24, 16-25, 25-15, 25-27 and 15-11.

Valley City State improves to 11-9 overall and 5-4 in the North Star Athletic Association. Dakota State drops to 5-19 overall and 3-6 in conference play. The win keeps the Vikings in fourth place in the NSAA standings.

Taylor Sharp led the Viking attack with a season-high 12 kills and Autumn Johnson added 10 as part of VCSU’s balanced attack. Ellie Winter came off the bench in set three and posted a career-high eight kills the rest of the way. Clarissa Olson also had eight kills and Paige Benson added seven.

The Vikings appeared on their way to an easy four-set victory after building a 21-16 lead in the fourth set. Dakota State had other ideas though and rallied with five straight points to tie the set and then took a 24-22 lead. VCSU responded with three straight points and had a match point, leading 25-24, but an attack error tied the set again at 25-25 and Dakota State put the 27-25 victory away with a kill by Carly Rozell.

In set five, the Vikings started quick by building 5-1 and 7-4 leads. Dakota State rallied to tie it at 7-7, but it was all Vikings from there. VCSU scored five straight points – including two kills by Autumn Johnson – to take a 13-7 lead en route to the clinching 15-11 victory.

Neither team hit exceptionally well as VCSU had a .133 hitting percentage and Dakota State posted a .123 percentage. The Vikings had nine blocks, compared to three for Dakota State. VCSU served 11 aces and had 12 service errors. Dakota State had seven aces and 11 service errors.

Leah Ruter posted a double-double for VCSU with 30 assists and 12 digs. Hailie Wilds had team highs of 21 digs and four aces. Charlotte Huschka also had 13 digs, and Rowan Garcia added 11 digs and 15 assists.

Sami Zell led Dakota State with 13 kills in the match. Kendra Steffen had 17 assists, and Carly Rozell posted team highs of 18 digs and three aces.

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Valley City State takes a break from conference play with an Oct. 16 road match at Concordia-Moorhead. Dakota State hosts Grace University on Friday at 6 p.m.

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