WATERTOWN, Wis. -- It could be the last match of the season, and the Sabercats played like it was their last match ever.
Down 2-0 after losing a set 11-25, the Sabercats rallied to win a five-set thriller in what could be their final match of the season.
- Result: Maranatha 3-2 Graceland (21-25, 11-25, 28-26, 25-20, 15-12)
- Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
- Location: Watertown, Wis.
- Attendance: 250
- Records: MBU (9-14), GU (9-10)
The first two sets were all about Graceland. The Yellowjackets held off a late Sabercats charge to win 25-21 in the opener, then they breezed to a 25-11 win to seemingly put the match in the books.
But then the Sabercats began their comeback.
As they've shown so many times in their last few seasons, the team stuck with it with impressive resiliency. After holding on to win 28-26, the Sabercats were gaining momentum, swinging themselves out to their second set win in a row. The win came with some staunch blocking from Rory Massey, Isaac McKee, and James Rossiter, as well as 15 kills led by clutch swings from Joel Depue. After thinking they were done and dusted, the Sabercats had fought back to all square.
And with the volume levels in the gym and the Sabercats' eagerness in mind, the outcome of the fifth set was almost a certainty. The Sabercats saved their best play at the net for last, as they blocked or killed on every point except one en route to winning the thrilling night with a 15-12 victory in the final set.
The win was given extra significance in light of recent event cancellations around the country, which jeopardizes the remainder of the season. That, coupled with this being senior night, made an already special win stand out even more.
MBU Starters: 3- Massey, 4- McKee, 5- Dafoe, 6- Rossiter, 8- Depue, 12- Holbrook, 13- Wagner (L), 15- Smith
- Depue: 16 K, 15 D
- Holbrook: 13 K, 4 B
- Massey: 5 K, 8 D, 8 B (career-high)
- Rossiter: 8 K, 5 B
- McKee: 7 K, 3 D, 7 B
- Dafoe: 48 A
- Wagner: 13 D
- Series: Series is now tied 1-1
- GU competes in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (NAIA)
- GU fell the HAAC Quarterfinals last year
- GU is on track for the best winning percentage since 2016