The Minot State University volleyball team played a ranked team Saturday for the third match in a row.
And for the third time in a row, the Beavers were unable to win a game. No. 13 Minnesota State University-Mankato swept MSU 25-13, 25-21, 25-19 at the MSU Dome and handed the Beavers their 11th Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference loss in a row.
The Beavers (4-17 overall, 0-11 Northern Sun) stumbled out of the gate, hitting just .036 in a first-game blowout. In the last two games, MSU hung with the Mavericks (14-5, 8-3) before succumbing to the better team.
Minnesota State-Mankato senior outside hitter Chelsea Fogarty (1) drives a ball past Minot State University blockers Tarah Dabovich (8) and Mariah Zaback (9) in the Mavericks’ three-game win at the MSU Dome on Saturday.
"I'm really proud of them," MSU coach Travis Ward said. "We're right with them in the last two games and they kinda were able to push past us. But that's what good teams do right. They're consistent and we showed a little inconsistency there at the end."
The Beavers rallied from a 10-3 deficit to pull within 22-20 in game two. An attack error from MSU freshman Mallory Sall and two kills by Mankato's Chelsea Fogarty allowed the Mavericks to hold on.
Fogarty led all players with 16 kills and hit .500 for the evening.
"Usually toward the end of a match, if she gets hot we play a little better," Mavericks coach Dennis Amundson said. "She's got a quick arm and she's really fast to the ball. She's just got some gifts that allow her to execute under pressure and we're thankful we have her."
In game three, MSU pulled within one at 19-18. But the Mavericks scored six of the match's final seven points to polish off the Beavers.
Sall, who led the Beavers with 11 kills, said the quality of competition will help MSU moving forward.
"It shows us what consistency and level we want to play at," Sall said. "It's really good to play them and it's so much fun. It's a lot more fun than playing a worse team."
Freshmen middle hitters Erin Davis and Tarah Dabovich were the most efficient Beaver hitters. Dabovich succeeded on five of 13 attacks and Davis connected on five of her nine attempsts.
"Erin and Tarah have worked so hard this year," Ward said. ".308 (Dabovich) and .444 (Davis) from your middles, you look at that and you're not going to complain a whole lot about that. We're doing the right thing."
MSU hosts the University of Mary on Tuesday at 7 p.m.