Concordia College-Moorhead
Valley City State
Valley City State celebrates a point Wednesday night against Concordia College. (Spencer Aune/VCSU)
Valley City State celebrates a point Wednesday night against Concordia College. (Spencer Aune/VCSU)
Volleyball - Wed, Sep. 6, 2017
Concordia College-Moorhea (1-4)2322190
Valley City State (N.D.) (5-5)2525253
Valley City, N.D.,
Concordia College-MoorheaIndv. LeadersValley City State (N.D.)
#8 Brianna Carney - 9Kills #13 Megan Johnson - 16
2 Players (#6,#8) - 2Blocks 2 Players (#9,#13) - 4
#10 Stephanie Baker - 12Digs #16 Hailie Wilds - 13
#27 Casey Coste - 2Aces 2 Players (#1,#10) - 2
Concordia College-MoorheaTeam StatisticsValley City State (N.D.)
0.159Hitting %: 0.301
4.0Blocks: 7.0
31Digs: 32
4Aces: 7

VALLEY CITY – The home debut was worth the wait for the Valley City State volleyball team.

After opening the season with nine matches on the road, the Vikings returned home to a standing-room-only crowd Wednesday night in Graichen Gymnasium, riding their home court advantage to a 3-0 victory against Concordia College.

Senior Megan Johnson's 16th kill of the night went for match point, sealing a 25-23, 25-22, 25-19 Viking victory.

Valley City State improves to 5-5 overall this season. Concordia College-Moorhead drops to 1-4. The victory was a bit of sweet redemption for VCSU's returning players, who lost twice to Concordia last season in five sets.

There would be no need for five sets Wednesday night as the Vikings outplayed the Cobbers down the stretch in the first two sets, and then dominated set three from start to finish in front of a huge Viking crowd.

"Best crowd I've ever seen in Graichen Gym," said VCSU head coach Adam Longmore, who is in his fourth season. "They were crazy loud. It was fun."

VCSU scored four straight points in set one to build a 12-8 lead. The Cobbers had a run of five straight points later in the set, turning a 19-15 deficit into a 20-19 lead. The teams traded points before the Vikings scored the final two to take the set, getting a kill by Megan Johnson and a block by Johnson and McKinley Putnam for set point.

Set two belonged to the Cobbers early as they led 5-1 and 11-6 early. The Vikings batted back to tie the set at 14-14 on a kill from Putnam. The teams played to a 22-22 tie before VCSU finished the set with three straight points, including one kill by Johnson and two from freshman Paige Benson.

The Vikings never trailed in set three, and used a 7-1 run to take an 18-11 advantage. VCSU coasted down the stretch and with the crowd on its feet, Johnson iced the match with her 16th kill of the night.

Johnson led all players with 16 kills, hit .393 on the night and had four block assists. Several of her kills were of the "booming" variety, eliciting raucous cheers from the VCSU students.

"Megan was simply incredible tonight," said Longmore. "She's going to a be a huge part of everything we do all year. As the lone senior we look to her to lead on the court and off the court."

Clarissa Olson tallied nine kills in 13 attempts for a .615 hitting percentage.  She and Leah Ruter each had a pair of service aces. Ruter posted 39 assists in the win. Benson, a freshman, posted seven kills and two block assists. McKinley Putnam, also a freshman, had five kills, a solo block and three block assists in her Graichen Gym debut.

Polette Medina added five kills and seven digs, while Hailie Wilds led the defense with 13 digs.

As a team VCSU hit .301 in the match, compared to .159 for the Cobbers. Brianna Carney led Concordia's attack with nine kills.

Up next: Valley City State (5-5, 0-0 NSAA) has some time off before starting NSAA conference play Sept. 16 at Presentation College.