MINNEAPOLIS - Minn. - The North Central University Rams opened the 2017 home schedule on Friday with two losses on day one of the NCU Invite. NCU (0-6) fell to Grinnell College (2-1) in three sets before falling to Providence University College (2-0) in five sets to round out a full slate of matches in Clark Danielson Gymnasium on Friday.
NCU pushed Grinnell College in the first set before dropping 25-22 to the Pioneers. Senior Katie Strand paced the Rams with 8 kills and a .368 attack percentage. Sophomore Bethany Wollman recorded six kills to go along with two serving aces to contribute to the Rams offensive attack. NCU dropped the final two sets 25-16 and 25-8 against a very competitive Grinnell College Pioneers team.
To round out the nightcap NCU took on Providence University College. The Rams played tight in the first two sets but ultimately fell by scores of 25-19 and 25-16. The Rams began to fight their way back in the start of the third set as they opened on an 8-0 run to begin the comeback. The momentum carried through the third set as the Rams took the set 25-19. The fourth set proved to be a thriller as it was tightly contested from start to finish. NCU held a 24-20 lead late in the fourth as Providence began to tighten things up. Ultimately a service error with an NCU narrow 24-23 lead sealed the set 25-23 to force a fifth set.
Providence began on a 4-0 run in the fifth set. The two teams traded points with the score tight late at 12-9 in favor of Providence. Providence began a slight run to seal the victory in the fifth set by a score of 15-10.
NCU was paced by senior Katie Strand who issued 11 kills with a .321 attack percentage. NCU finished with 38 kills in the match, their highest figure in the short 2017 season thus far. Maddie Stocker recorded a season high 31 digs as well as one service ace. Elizabeth Norman and Grace Hart recorded 12 and 11 digs respectively.
NCU will be back in action tomorrow to wrap up the 2017 NCU Invite at 5:00 p.m. against Faith Baptist Bible College. Games will begin at 11:00 a.m. in Clark Danielson Gymnasium with Providence University College taking on Crown College. Four games are slated to take place on day two of the NCU Invite. All live stream links and live stat links can be found at NCURams.com