ST. JOSEPH, Minn. St. Benedict entered Friday's Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match against the Saint Mary's University volleyball team as the conference's No. 1 team.
Unbeaten in two MIAC matches and unbeaten in their first eight matches of the season.
Make that once-beaten.
SMU, behind a 26-kills, 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 previously unbeaten and league-leading 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 Cardinals, who improved to 3-0 in the MIAC and 12-2 overall, return to action Saturday, traveling to Moorhead, Minn., to take on Concordia-Moorhead.