LA CROSSE, Wisc. — Junior Kendra Siefring registered a team-leading 18 killls in a 3-1 University of Saint Francis win over Clarke University in the Lady Cougars first match win of the day on Friday at the Viterbo Holiday Inn Express Preseason Tournament.
Senior Anne Clark led the Lady Cougars to a sweep with a 3-0 win over 27th-ranked Trinity Christian College in the second match of the day.
USF will tangle with fifth-ranked and host Viterbo University at 11 a.m. on Saturday and finish the weekend with a 3 p.m. clash against Mayville State College.
In the first match, Clarke squeezed out a 26-24 win before the Lady Cougars took charge winning 25-20, 25-15 and 27-25. It was CU’s first loss of the season ending a 3-0 start.
In the first match, CU rallied from a 22-19 deficit to take a 23-22 lead over USF. Siefring tied the match at 23 and 24 with kills before CU pulled out the win by two. USF bolted to leads of 6-1, 8-3, 10-4 and 12-6 before CU ran off five consecutive points to tie the conflict at 13. A 5-1 CU run put the Pride in front 18-17. Clark’s kill tied the match at 18 and ignited a 6-0 USF run to a 23-18 lead. Siefring nailed the win down with a pair of kills off sets from Maria Pelak.
USF dominated the third set from the point CU took an 8-6 lead. USF opened up an 11-8 off five consecutive CU errors and by the time Nikki Marshall aced a serve for USF’s 17th point, the Lady Cougars led 17-10. USF outscored CU 8-4 to close out the win for a 2-1 lead.
The fourth set was one that fans got their monies worth with eight ties after USF opened up a 16-12 lead. CU tied the match at 17, then took an 18-17 lead before a Kunkler kill pulled USF into the tie at 18. After ties at 19, 20, 21, 23, 24 and 25, a CU attack error gave USF the lead 26-25 and Siefring finished off the set and match with a kill.
Pelak finished with 42 assists and led USF in digs as well with 17. Marshall added 12 digs. Diagostino had five block assists, six total, and Clark finished with four block assists and five total. Kunkler added 11 kills to the USF attack and Makayla Hissong delivered eight kills.
Though 3-0 looks easy, it was nothing of the kind. In the first set, the Trolls battled back from three back to tie the match at 23 before Hissong kill and a TCC attack error locked up a 1-0 lead for USF. TCC took 19-17 lead in the second set after seven ties, but a Marshall ace regained a tie for the Lady Cougars at 20. A Clark ace gave USF the lead for good, 22-20 and USF won on a TCC service error for a 2-0 lead.
TCC led 18-14, 19-16 and 21-19 before USF secured the set and match breaking away from a tie at 22. Kunkler’s kill put USF in front to stay, 23-22 and Maile Steckelberg nailed down the set and match for USF with an ace (24-22) and and a kill off a Pelak set for the three-point win.
Pelak finished with 23 assists while Marshall piled up a team-leading 19 digs. Pelak finished with 10 digs. Clark led USF with eight kills, Siefring and Kunkler seven apiece and Diagostino five along with four block assists.