ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The UW-Stevens Point volleyball team (27-8) rallied to win the fourth and fifth set over Augsburg (23-7) to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Senior April Gehl (Hilbert, Wis./Hilbert) completed her award-filled day with a game-high tying 20 kills and a double-double. She added 16 digs.
Junior Ellie Adams (Racine, Wis./William Horlick) had a game-high 51 assists and recorded her 23rd double-double of the year with 15 digs.
Megan Lau (Potter, Wis./Hilbert) added a season-high 15 kills for the Pointers. Emma Peterson (Bloomington, Minn./Thomas Jefferson) racked up 19 digs to aid the Pointers. Kelsie Belfiori (Merrill, Wis./Merrill) and Mazie Nagel (Stratford, Wis./Stratford) were also in double figures in digs with 15 and 14, respectively.
The Pointers combined for seven kills in an 8-2 run to take a 15-14 lead in the first set. Belfiori served up an ace n a 4-0 burst late with a Lau kill giving UWSP set point. Two points later, an Augsburg service error gave the Pointers a 25-23 set victory.
Lau powered three kills in a 5-0 run as UWSP took a 10-8 lead in the second set. The teams battled back-and-forth with neither leading by more than two points until the Auggies posted three-straight to reach set point. The Pointers saved one, but the Auggies took the second set, 25-21.
Augsburg jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third set, but a kill and block by Maddie Lawson (West Allis, Wis./Nathan Hale) propelled UWSP into a 12-10 advantage. Again the teams traded points until a 24-24 tie was broken with Augsburg prevailing, 26-24.
Lau started the fourth set with a kill and UWSP held a slim lead until late. Down, 22-21, Gehl powered UWSP in front with consecutive kills and UWSP rode a four-point burst to a 25-21 set win.
The fifth set was again started with a Lau kill. Both teams continued to spar with the lead teetering from one side to the other. Trailing, 9-8, Adams threw down consecutive kills in a four-point spurt. Augsburg responded and got the first match point at 14-13. Gehl stopped the Auggies with a kill and consecutive points by UWSP gave the Pointers a 16-14 match-clinching win.
The Pointers advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and will face the winner of host St. Thomas and Dubuque at 7:00 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 15).