VERMILLION, S.D. – For the first time in 25 years, top-seeded Kansas City advanced to the Summit League Volleyball Championship title match as the Roos defeated fifth-seeded North Dakota State in four sets. After taking the first two sets, the Bison rallied to force a fourth set in Monday’s second semifinal, but the Roos were able to halt the comeback and secure a spot in the final with a 25-20 victory to clinch the 3-1 win.
Odyssey Warren led the Roos with 16 kills as six of head coach Christy Posey’s players had six or kills. Those efforts helped overcome the strong play of Ali Hinze, who had a match-high 18 kills for the Bison.
NDSU led early in the first set, holding a 7-5 advantage until the Roos reeled off five straight points that included a stretch of three consecutive aces from Caroline Keithley as they claimed a 10-7 lead. Kansas City never trailed the rest of the set and hit .344 to post a 25-19 victory. Six Roos had multiple kills in the opening set led by Sila Ozyurek’s four.
The Bison held a 20-17 advantage in the second set but the Roos closed it out on an 8-1 run to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Hinze had half of her kills in a wild third set that saw the Bison overcome a 20-15 deficit and rally for a 30-28 victory as the All-League first teamer closed out the comeback with three consecutive kills.
Kansas City controlled the fourth set from start to finish as the Roos closed out the match with a 25-20 victory in the fourth set. The Roos hit .326 in that final stanza and added six blocks.
Who Stood Out
Defensive Player of the Year Leah Green had 18 digs for the Roos who limited NDSU to just a .176 hitting percentage. Senior Odyssey Warren had 16 kills for the Roos and Ozyurek added 10 to give KC a pair in double figures. Hinze added 18 kills while Alexis Boling and Ally Barth each had 12. NDSU’s Taylor Quan led all players with 23 digs.
Despite slipping in third set, 30-28, Kansas City built the momentum early to win the first two sets. The Roos regrouped after dropping that third set and never trailed in the final set to post a 25-20 victory.
- This will mark the third straight year the No. 1 seed will play the No. 2 seed in the title match.
- Kansas City earned its first share of a regular season title with a 12-4 league mark and will now appear in just the program’s second Summit League Tournament title match and first since 1997.
- Defensive Player of the Year Leah Green had 18 digs and has now reached double figures in that category during all 26 matches she has appeared in this season.
- NDSU’s Ali Hinze registered 18 kills to post her 26th double-digit kill effort of the season.
Omaha and Kansas City will meet in Tuesday’s title match at 7 p.m. CT, which will air live on Midco Sports and be streamed on the Summit League Network.