Sabercats Sweep Group, Roll to National Semifinal
KISSIMMEE, Fla. --- The Sabercats continued their winning run at the 2016 NCCAA DII National Championships by defeating the Saints of Randall University in straight sets. With the three wins, the Sabercats win Pool A and will play in the first NCCAA Semifinal at 5:30 PM Eastern tonight against the runners-up from Pool B.
- Result: Sabercats 3-0 Saints
- Venue: Kissimee Civic Center
- Box Score: TBA
- Sabercats: now 5-0 in NCCAA Postseason play
How it Happened
- Set 1: MBU 25-15 RU
- The Sabercats jumped out to an early 7-4 lead with four kills from Ali Renz that were fueled by accurate defensive passing from Katie Bender and enticing sets from Julia Gunst.
- The Saints started flatly, but soon found their offensive rhythm in the middle of the set to make the Sabercats work that much harder. After the Saints nearly tied it at 10, Alexis Johnson and Kelsey Johnson each knocked down an emphatic kill to put the Sabercats up 14-9 and force Randall into a timeout.
- After the timeout, the Sabercats pulled steadily ahead to close out the opening set. Two consecutive aces from Karley Johnson and a block and a kill from Alexis Johnson helped the Sabercats close out the first set 25-15. (1-0)
- Renz notched seven kills in the first set to lead the Sabercats, and six different Sabercats recorded kills in the opener.
- Set 2: MBU 25-14 RU
- The Saints stayed ahead in the opening stages of set two, reaching double-digit points ahead of the Sabercats while staying three points clear.
- Madline Thompson's relentless kills gave the Sabercats their first lead of the set at 12-11, and the Iowan would go on to record five points in quick succession (seven in the set) to bolster the Sabercats' lead to a convincing 19-12.
- To close, Thompson and Alexis Johnson kept swinging to keep the Saints defense on their heels, and the Sabercats soon bettered the score from the first set to win 25-14. (2-0)
- Set 3: MBU 25-19 RU
- The Sabercats showed variety in the early going of the third set, jumping out to a 10-4 lead. Alexis Johnson's six kills made her the primary offensive threat for the Sabercats, and she was backed up by her sister Kelsey and Rachel Wells at the net.
- The third set was really all one-way going, as the Sabercats never looked back from their early lead despite a late Randall scoring run.
- Renz powered the offense in the first, Thompson in the second, and Alexis Johnson in the third as the Sabercats showed their offensive versatility in the straight-set win, taking the third set 25-19. (3-0)
- The Sabercats will play at 5:30 Eastern tonight and will await the results of Pool B to determine their opponent.
- You can watch the games live at this location courtesy of the Tourbeau Sports Group.