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Volleyball turns frown upside down, wins five-set dogfight

Volleyball turns frown upside down, wins five-set dogfight

Freshman Selena Levendoski had a match-high 17 kills, including three late slams to close out a 15-12 score in the decisive fifth set of St. Thomas' 3-2 comeback victory over Augsburg Thursday night at Schoenecker Arena.

The No. 15-ranked Tommies needed a fierce rally in the MIAC semifinal-round playoff match to outlast the No. 17-ranked Auggies, 22-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-15, 15-13.

St. Thomas (28-4) has won 17 of its last 18 matches and improved to 8-0 at home this season.

Coach Thanh Pham's top-seed Tommies play Saturday (7 p.m.) against second-seed St. Olaf in the playoff championship match. The Oles took out visiting St. Ben's, 3-1, in Thursday's other contest.

The Tommies trailed 8-7 and 9-8 in the final set, and the score was later tied 11-11 and 12-12. But Madie Kroehler had one kill and Levendoski recorded two to close out the thrilling victory.

Corrina Evans had 11 kills and six blocks, and Megan Quam had 12 kills for the Auggies (23-6). Augsburg came into the night with a 5-1 season record in five-set matches.

St. Thomas closed the fourth set on a 16-5 run to turn the momentum.

Kroehler had 15 digs, 11 kills and three aces for her 32nd career double double. Grace Anetipa had 48 assists and 18 digs. Ellie Meyer had 28 digs and two aces, and Meghan Mazzola had 17 digs. Kate Achenbach and Hannah Braun each had 10 kills.