MOORHEAD, Minn. – The 25th-ranked Pointers of UW-Stevens Point took the host Cobbers of Concordia-Moorhead to a decisive fifth set on Friday evening but fell 3-2 in the team's opening round NCAA Division III Championship Tournament match at Memorial Auditorium.
The Pointers (26-8) fell 25-11, 15-25, 13-25, 25-18, 16-14 to the nation's seventh-ranked team in their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1986.
The Pointers struggled early to overcome a crowd that had turned out to support the hometown Cobbers. The early jitters gave way in the second set as UWSP pushed back with the decisive victory to even the match at 1-1.
In the third, the Cobbers again swung the momentum in their favor as they rolled to the 25-13 victory.
In the fourth, the pendulum swung in favor of the Pointers, as UWSP was able to boost its hitting percentage to .382 for the set and secure the victory to force a decisive fifth set.
In the fifth set, the Pointers and Cobbers left everything on the floor as the team's stayed within two points of each other the entire way. Tied 14-14, Concordia managed the final two points of the night to seal the thriller, 16-14.
Kati Rau (Dorchester, WI/Colby) led the Pointers with 16 kills on the evening while Christina Brinkman (Bristol, WI/Westosha Central) added 13 and Morgan Bartkowiak (Slinger, WI/Slinger) finished with 11. Alexis Hartman (Lake Zurich, IL/Lake Zurich) tallied 39 assits and Ally Groth (Germantown, WI/Germantown) had a team-best 19 digs.
Katie Vohnoutka led the Cobbers with 16 kills.