Lofty Standards

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The 2019 Sabercats Women's Volleyball Team continues to set a lofty standard for the future.

A 26-5 record. Undefeated at home. A second-place NCCAA national finish. Three All-American selections. Five all-region selections. One national player of the year award. A national award for character. Three coach of the year awards. These are just the by-product of the lofty standards that Coach Regina DeLozier and the team have for themselves, for each other, and for future teams that don the Blue and Gold - this is a program that produces excellence at all levels.

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Lofty Standards

This year saw the Sabercats boast a nine-game winning streak on two different occasions. Both were highlighted by a perfect 6-0 record on their home floor, and key wins during the season came with gutsy 3-2 wins over Wisconsin-Superior and Simpson in the final event of the regular season. The Sabercats had been gaining momentum and confidence throughout the season, and they approached NCCAA Regionals with conviction.

The conviction showed. The Sabercats needed just two wins to conquer the North, and they did so on their home floor without dropping a set.

With their sixth straight regional title to their name, the Sabercats approached NCCAA Nationals as the #2 seed but were upset in the first match of the tournament. After splitting their matches on the first day, the Sabercats were in a do-or-die situation against Geneva College, needing a straight-set win against the Pennsylvania powerhouse to go through to the national semifinal.

They swept Geneva.

On paper, it was the most improbable result of the season, especially given the context. But the group was locked in, ready to win, and they not only got the result they needed to advance but also won their pool on top of that.

Maranatha faced #5 Arlington Baptist in the NCCAA DII National Semifinal, and the Sabercats needed just four stets to accomplish the task. For the second straight year, the Sabercats would face the Bob Jones University Bruins in the national championship.

But for the second straight year, the Bruins took home the title.

It was a championship worthy of capping off two commendable seasons, as the Sabercats and Bruins battled to a four-set thriller inside of BJU's Davis Field House. But after it was all said and done, the Sabercats had their hearts broken at the hands of the Bruins for the second season in a row.

Despite the disappointing end to the season, there's no denying that the 2019 campaign was a standout showing for the Sabercats, who lose a core group of contributors moving forward. The standard is lofty, and the shoes will need to be filled.

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At a Glance

  • Record: 25-6
  • NCCAA Record: 9-2
  • Home record: 6-0
  • NCCAA National Finish: 2nd
  • Notable:
    • Six seniors on the roster
    • Three NCCAA All-Americans (most of any institution)

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Awards

At Tuesday's Athletic Awards Assembly, the Sabercats announced their team awards. In addition to these honors, the student-athletes earned awards from the National Christian College Athletic Association.

A complete breakdown of the awards is listed below:

TEAM AWARD RECIPIENT
Most Valuable Offensive Claire Hansel
Most Valuable Defensive McKenzie Janke
Most Valuable Kelsey Johnson
Christian Teammate Award Mattie Bumpus
   
NCCAA All-Region Selections  
Gabrielle Carpenter (2nd Team) Claire Hansel
Karley Johnson Kelsey Johnson (Region MVP)  
McKenzie Janke (Region Libero of the Year)  
   
NCCAA All-American Selections  
Claire Hansel (2nd Team) Karley Johnson (2nd Team)
Kelsey Johnson (1st Team/National Player of the Year)   
   
AVCA All-American Selections: NCCAA  
Claire Hansel (2nd Team) Karley Johnson (2nd Team)
Kelsey Johnson (1st Team)  
   
Coach of the Year Selections (Regina DeLozier)  
NCCAA North Region Coach of the Year NCCAA DII National Coach of the Year 
AVCA National Coach of the Year: NCCAA   
   
NCCAA Game Plan 4 LIFE Award   
Kelsey Johnson  
   
NCCAA Scholar-Athletes (JR, SR, GS only)  
Claire Hansel Karley Johnson
Kelsey Johnson  

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For more on the program, visit their team page HERE.

High Notes
April 4, 2020 High Notes
Unfinished Business
March 28, 2020 Unfinished Business
Close Calls
March 23, 2020 Close Calls
Opening Day Letters
March 20, 2020 Opening Day Letters
Camps and COVID-19
March 19, 2020 Camps and COVID-19
Coronavirus Cancellations
March 16, 2020 Coronavirus Cancellations
Depue Makes it Two
March 16, 2020 Depue Makes it Two
Nationals Cancelled
March 12, 2020 Nationals Cancelled
Callie Highlights Honors
March 11, 2020 Callie Highlights Honors
Johnson Honored Again
March 10, 2020 Johnson Honored Again
Wilkerson Awarded
March 6, 2020 Wilkerson Awarded
Nationals Insider
March 4, 2020 Nationals Insider
First Hurdle
February 27, 2020 First Hurdle
For Three
February 26, 2020 For Three
Sizing Up the Seedings
February 19, 2020 Sizing Up the Seedings
Callie Collects
February 14, 2020 Callie Collects
Classroom Competence
February 13, 2020 Classroom Competence
Running Da Show
February 3, 2020 Running Da Show
Inside the Field
January 23, 2020 Inside the Field
Year Three
January 16, 2020 Year Three
DeLozier Steps In
January 3, 2020 DeLozier Steps In
Twice Honored
December 13, 2019 Twice Honored
Steps Forward
December 13, 2019 Steps Forward
Lofty Standards
December 13, 2019 Lofty Standards
Looking Back, Looking Ahead
December 10, 2019 Looking Back, Looking Ahead
The Road Behind
December 10, 2019 The Road Behind
Unfinished Business
December 9, 2019 Unfinished Business
Twice Around for Johnson
December 1, 2019 Twice Around for Johnson
Best of the Best
November 27, 2019 Best of the Best
Nationals Scouting Report
November 19, 2019 Nationals Scouting Report
St. Lawrence Honored
November 18, 2019 St. Lawrence Honored
Reclaim the Fame
November 16, 2019 Reclaim the Fame
Looking Ahead
November 11, 2019 Looking Ahead
The Best in the North
November 9, 2019 The Best in the North
Living to Fight
November 9, 2019 Living to Fight
Two of the Best
November 9, 2019 Two of the Best
Sizing up the Semis
November 7, 2019 Sizing up the Semis
Flying Fopma in Focus
November 1, 2019 Flying Fopma in Focus
Wide Open
October 29, 2019 Wide Open
Work to Do
October 29, 2019 Work to Do
Nelson Gets the Nod
October 28, 2019 Nelson Gets the Nod
In Memory of Terry Price
October 25, 2019 In Memory of Terry Price
Four For Fopma
October 21, 2019 Four For Fopma
Fopma Goes Farther
October 14, 2019 Fopma Goes Farther
Triple Trouble
October 8, 2019 Triple Trouble
Johnson at the Top
October 1, 2019 Johnson at the Top
Hansel Honored
September 30, 2019 Hansel Honored
Kinzler Collects
September 30, 2019 Kinzler Collects
Shepard Snags Award
September 23, 2019 Shepard Snags Award
NCCAA Top 10 - September 17
September 18, 2019 NCCAA Top 10 - September 17
A Nod for Johnson
September 16, 2019 A Nod for Johnson
Fopma in the Spotlight
September 10, 2019 Fopma in the Spotlight
Fresh Start
September 10, 2019 Fresh Start
Off and Running
September 5, 2019 Off and Running
Maranatha Memories
August 31, 2019 Maranatha Memories
Reynolds Rewarded
August 30, 2019 Reynolds Rewarded
Eyes on the Prize
August 28, 2019 Eyes on the Prize
Just the Facts
August 23, 2019 Just the Facts
Dual Purpose
August 6, 2019 Dual Purpose
Borchardt Takes Over
August 1, 2019 Borchardt Takes Over