Storming and Swarming

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- In a four-set loss, the Sabercats took a set off of a hard-hitting Graceland University squad tonight, but in so doing, it seemed the Sabercats kicked over the beehive.

Derek Wallis led Maranatha with 11 kills. Joel Smith pitched in eight, but the powerful Graceland squad hit at a clip of .349 for the night to take home the win.

  • Result: Maranatha 1-3 Graceland (13-25, 15-25, 27-25, 12-25)
  • Venue: MBU Gymnasium
  • Location: Watertown, Wis.
  • Attendance: 77
  • Records: Maranatha (1-22), Graceland (6-12)

The Sabercats had trouble dealing with the powerful swinging of the Hawaiian-influenced Yellow Jacket attack. Graceland hit at a clip of .739 in the first set, logging 18 kills off 23 attempts with just one error. Hitting at that inexorable pace, the Jackets won by a dozen points, taking the set 25-13.

MBU slowed down the sure-fire Graceland attack in the second set, reducing GU to 13 kills, but the Yellow Jackets stifled the Sabercats' own attack, limiting Maranatha to a line of 3-6-16. 

After dropping the second set 25-15, the Sabercats turned things around in the third frame, showing the resilience that has characterized this program in the last two seasons. MBU put down a dozen kills and put the ball where they wanted it, eventually outlasting Graceland for a 27-25 win. Derek Wallis was once again leading the way for the Blue and Gold, logging eight kills at that point, while Joel Smith was right behind with six.

But by winning that set, the Sabercats had kicked over the proverbial beehive. The Yellow Jackets came right back to win 25-12 in the fourth frame to take a 3-1 win over MBU.


MBU Starters: 3-Massey, 4-McKee, 5-Dafoe, 6-Rossiter, 12-Wallis, 13-Wagner (L), 15-Smith // GU Starters: 4-Poe (L), 6-Danyluck, 7-Passi, 9-Kampshoff, 10-Wagner, 13-Coronado, 20-Solomua


  • Wallis: 10 kills, 3 digs
  • Smith: 8 kills, 2 aces, 4 digs
  • Taylor Dafoe: 4 kills, 22 assists, 6 digs
  • Naone Passi (GU): 23 kills, .559 attack percentage
  • GU: 3 student-athletes with double-digit kills
  • Series: this was the first match in the series

  • Graceland competes in the NAIA's Heart of America Athletic Conference
  • The Yellow Jackets recently upset NAIA No. 7 Ottawa
  • GU has faced seven NAIA ranked opponents this season

The Sabercats will stay home tomorrow for their last home match of the season at 6:00 p.m. against Illinois Tech. Follow at

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