No. 8 Minnesota defeats Southeastern in NCAA Tournament


Ricky Bassman

Cicily Hidalgo goes up for an attack during the NCAA Tournament First Round match against Minnesota.

Coming off a Southland Conference Championship win, the Lady Lions came up short in their playoff match versus Minnesota. 

Junior outside hitter Kailin Newsome led the way with thirteen kill shots. Following Newsome was defensive specialist Ansley Tullis with sixteen digs.  

Despite good individual games, the Green and Gold Lions lost 3-0. 

The first two sets provided intense action, with both teams trading points. Early in the first set, the Lions found themselves in a 12-8 hole. 

The Lions stayed within four points until late in the set, when the score was 23-21. However, the Golden Gophers were able to pull away and win the period 25-21. 

During the second set, Southeastern was able to keep up with Minnesota. Both teams traded points, with Newsome and Tullis stepping up. 

Alas, the Gophers were able to pull away from the game with an 8-2 run, which gave them a 20-13 lead in the second set. Minnesota closed out the period and won 25-18. 

Taking advantage of their 2-0 lead, Minnesota beat the Lions 25-14 in the final set, and completed the sweep. 

One of the most significant factors in the loss was that the Golden Gophers were more efficient than SLU during the game. They consistently hit over 30% of their shots, while Southeastern struggled to reach 20%. 

Even though Southeastern lost, they still had a historic season. They went 25-8 on the overall year and went an impressive 14-0 at home. 

From Oct. 20 to Nov. 20, the Lady Lions dominated over an 11-game stretch, going 10-1 in that time frame. 

The Green and Gold concluded their Southland Conference dominance by winning the Championship for the first time in school history. The squad is looking forward to next year to repeat this season’s success.