Jim Boos made history Saturday afternoon, passing Pati Rolf as the all-time winningest head volleyball coach at UMD. Now in his 12th year with the Bulldogs, Boos surpassed his predecessor with his 311th win Saturday against Minnesota State-Mankato. It took Boos 111 fewer games to reach 310 wins than it did Rolf.
“It’s cool to be a part of a history,” junior libero Julie Rainey said. “He is a fantastic coach and I think he is more than deserving of it. I’m glad that I get to play with a coach that has been successful for such a long time.”
In the record-setting game, UMD quickly disposed of the Mavericks in three sets. Double-digit wins in the first two frames (25-14, 25-15) helped establish control of the match, and then a 25-18 victory in the third set closed it out.
Rainey had 18 digs in the contest and was the only player on either side of the net to record more than eight digs. Kate Lange was the only hitter to reach double-digit kills in the match with 13.
Friday featured a battle between No. 1 UMD and No. 2 Concordia-St. Paul. Prior to the match, the teams had met one other time in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 scenario—Nov. 2, 2010, when the Bulldogs lost to the Golden Bears in straight sets.
This time it was closer, but the result was the same.
It went down to the wire, but the Golden Bears took the decisive fifth set and the match from UMD (25-23, 16-25, 25-22, 20-25, 8-15), handing the Bulldogs their first loss of the year.
“I said to our team before and after the match, it’s only the 13th game of the season,” Boos said. “We competed well and hung in there for five sets. Unfortunately, Concordia executed better down the stretch. We are a very good team, but we got beat by a great team.”
UMD went up 2-1 after the third set and tightly contested fourth. The Golden Bears found another gear late in the fourth set, going on a 7-0 run to take a 23-17 lead and eventually square the match.
Concordia-St. Paul rose to the occasion behind home-court advantage in the fifth set, delivering the knockout blow.
The Bulldogs struggled at times to find their rhythm on offense, especially in the final two sets. Lange wound up with a game-high 21 kills on 70 swings and notched a double-double with 15 digs. The Golden Bears used a more balanced offensive attack, with four players compiling 10 or more kills.
“It was frustrating,” Rainey said. “I felt like we were the better team up until the fifth game when we started to make errors. We know we are capable of making big plays. Next time we just have to do it.”
UMD (13-1, 4-1 NSIC) and Concordia-St. Paul flipped spots in the national rankings this week, but the Bulldogs will have a chance to return the favor Nov. 16, when they host the Golden Bears at Romano Gym.
The Bulldogs continue to pursue a third straight NSIC title this weekend with home matches against Upper Iowa Friday and Winona State Saturday.
BY EVAN SMEGAL firstname.lastname@example.org