ST. PAUL, MN (vcsuvikings.com) – The Viking volleyball team dropped a pair of matches at the University of Northwestern Saturday.

In the first matchup, Valley City State fell in three straight sets, 25-22, 25-15, 25-17. The Vikings took one set from the Eagles in the second game but fell in four sets, 25-6, 25-17, 20-25, 25-18.

The Vikings fall to 0-5 overall this season.

Up Next: Valley City State opens conference play Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. when they host Dickinson State University at The Bubble.

Northwestern 3, VCSU 0
Valley City State started out with their strongest set of the matchup in the first set Saturday, with neither team trailing by more than three throughout the set. The Vikings and Eagles were tied at 19-19 on a kill from Bailey Nelson when the Eagles answered back with a kill of their own. A Valley City State error gave Northwestern a two-point lead, but a Katie Juarez kill spurred a three-point run for the Vikings to hold a 22-21 advantage. From there, the Eagles scored the next four straight points to take the first set, 25-22.

Northwestern controlled the second set with a five-point run early on to hold a 14-7 lead. The Vikings would get within five on a kill from Juarez to make it 16-11. The Eagles went on to score six straight points and held the 22-11 advantage. The Vikings wouldn’t give up as Anne-Elise Gest recorded three straight kills on the Eagles’ set-point. A final kill from Northwestern gave them the second set, 25-15.

The third set was all Northwestern as they started out with a commanding 17-7 lead. The Vikings battled back, going on a 5-2 run capped by an ace from Morganne Eppard. The Vikings would get within six on a Nissa Johnson kill, but it wasn’t enough as Northwestern finished the match 25-17.

Clarissa Hilary recorded a double-double in the first matchup as she tallied 29 assists and 13 digs for the Vikings. Nissa Johnson recorded 10 kills to lead the Viking offense. Kallene Klever recorded 15 digs while Katie Juarez added 12 digs and eight kills for the Vikings.

Northwestern 3, VCSU 1
Valley City State couldn’t gain the momentum they needed in the second match of the day as Northwestern took the first set 25-6.

The Vikings came out stronger in the second set, holding an early 11-11 tie. Northwestern then took a 6-1 run until a service error gave the Vikings an opportunity. Valley City State took the next three points including a Gest kill and Juarez ace to trail by only one at 17-16. It wasn’t enough though, as the Eagles took the set 25-17.

Valley City State would not be swept, coming out in the third set with an early 10-6 lead. The Eagles would tie things up at 10-10 when the Vikings scored the next five, capped by an ace from Gest. Valley City State then took a 7-3 run including three Juarez kills to hold a 22-15 advantage. The Eagles scored the next four, but the Vikings held on as they took the third set, 25-20.

The two battled in the fourth set and held a 12-12 tie early on. The Eagles took six of the next seven points to lead 17-13. A kill from Johnson started a Viking comeback as they got as close as 17-18 later in the game. Northwestern gained enough to finish it off, taking the fourth set 25-18.

Clarissa Hilary recorded another double-double with 20 assists and 13 digs for the Vikings. Katie Juarez tallied 11 kills and three service aces while Maara Nelson added six kills and three blocks. Kallene Klever added 10 digs and Bailey Nelson tallied five blocks for the Viking defense.