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2004 Record: 3-1 MIAC, 12-3 Overall
Last Week's Results:
Saint Mary's 3, Hamline 0 / Details
Saint Mary's 3, St. Benedict 2 / Details
Concordia 3, Saint Mary's 0 / Details
Coming Up:
Wed., Sept. 29: St. Thomas at Saint Mary's, 7:30 p.m.
This and That:
Saturday's loss to Concordia snapped SMU's five-match winning streak. … All three of the Cardinals' losses this season have come against opponents ranked in the AVCA Top 25 (UW-La Crosse, Simpson, Concordia). … Ashley Dingels (Gibbon, Minn.) led the Cardinals in kills in all three matches last week — collecting 14 vs. Hamline, 26 vs. St. Benedict and nine vs. Concordia — and is leading the team with 206 kills (4.12 kpg) this season. … Tessa Stranik (Eatonville, Wash.) has amassed 826 assists in SMU's first 15 matches. … SMU's 3-2 win vs. St. Benedict last Friday gives the Cardinals a perfect 3-0 mark in games that have gone the maximum five games. … The Cardinals had a season-high five players record at least 10 kills vs. the Blazers.
Loss to Cobbers can't diminish solid week for Cardinals

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary's University volleyball team entered last Saturday's match against Concordia — a battle of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference unbeatens — riding a five-match winning streak, including an impressive 3-2 win over previously undefeated St. Benedict on Friday.

Concordia, however, wasn't impressed.

In fact, what was impressive, was the Cobbers' performance, as they routed SMU 3-0, 30-14, 30-23, 30-19 to remain the lone unbeaten in the MIAC.

Despite the disappointing loss – which snapped SMU's five-match winning streak — SMU coach Mike Lester was more than pleased with his team's performance through a tough MIAC stretch that included three matches in four days.

"If you would have told me before (last Wednesday's match) that we would got 2-1 in those matches, I would have taken it," said Lester. "Our players would not have been happy about it — because their goal is to win the conference, and to do that you have to take care of all your matches.

"But to go 2-1 through that stretch is nice."

After dispatching of Hamline to open the week last Wednesday, SMU headed to St. Joseph, Minn., to take on the Blazers, who entered last Friday's match as one of the conference's top teams.

Unbeaten in two MIAC matches — and unbeaten in their first eight matches of the season.

Make that once-beaten.

SMU, behind a 26-kill, three-block effort from Ashley Dingels (Gibbon, Minn.) and 61 assists from Tessa Stranik (Eatonville, Wash.), rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat the Blazers 3-2, 20-30, 30-28, 25-30, 30-21, 15-13.

Dingels, one of five SMU players with at least 10 kills, hit a team-leading .438 in leading the Cardinals to their fifth straight win. Tracy Koertgen (Crystal Lake, Ill.) chipped in 17 kills and three blocks, while Kirstan Rouzer (Comstock, Wis.) added 15 kills and 19 digs. Megan Roesler (St. Paul, Minn.) tallied 14 kills and Lisa Engdahl (North Branch, Minn.) finished with 10 kills and 16 digs.

"The St. Ben's match was a great, great match," said Lester. "Both teams played at a super-high level all five games. (St. Benedict) is a good team, and for us to come away with a win like that, on the road, was a huge boost for us."

Unfortunately, things didn't go as smoothly against the Cobbers.

Dingels led the Cardinals' offense, recording nine kills, while Roesler (St. Paul, Minn.) finished with six. Stranik dished out 27 assists, while Rouzer tallied a team-leading 19 digs.

"Concordia is tough, no doubt about that," Lester said. "I'm not sure they could have played any better than they did against us, and, unfortunately, we didn't play as well as we can."