Sabercats Blank Knights to Advance to NCCAA National Championship
KISSIMMEE, Fla. --- In a do-or-die semifinal, the Sabercats showed characteristic resolve to take down the Kentucky Christian University Lady Knights in a thrilling three-set clash. With the win, the Sabercats advance to the NCCAA National Championship Match to defend their DII title.
- Result: Sabercats 3-0 Knights
- Venue: Kissimee Civic Center
- Box Score: TBA
- Sabercats: now 6-0 in NCCAA Postseason play
How it Happened
- Set 1: MBU 25-19 KCU
- A 4-1 tradeoff was a harbinger of a tight opening set as the two sides stayed close through the early stages. The standouts from the morning were at it again, as Alexis Johnson, Alison Renz, and Madeline Thompson each registered a couple of kills each.
- Uncharacteristic errors plagued the Sabercats early on, and Kentucky Christian maintained an edge as the set reached its middle stages.
- The Sabercats quickly shook off their early errors and stifled Knights' attack, posting an 8-1 run to take the 18-13 advantage that forced the Knights to call a timeout.
- After the timeout, the Sabercats finished what they had started with that mid-set run, closing out the set after a 7-6 exchange to win 25-19. (1-0)
- Set 2: MBU 25-21 KCU
- Kentucky Christian showed strong play at the net as they looked to even the match in the second set. The Knights' hitting was both unpredictable and powerful to put them ahead 5-9 early on.
- Despite KCU's strong attack, the Sabercats stayed with it, stringing together seven points to the Knights' one to take a 12-10 lead. Renz, Thompson, and Alexis and Kelsey Johnson all got into the act as the set became tighter and tighter.
- Kentucky's attack stayed strong, but the Sabercats upped their own attack as Renz, Thompson, and Kelsey Johnson answered the Knights in a truly offensive battle. Thompson's late kills were decisive, and helped the Sabercats close out the set 25-21 with the Knights close behind. (2-0)
- Set 3: MBU 25-13 KCU
- Renz bolstered the Sabercats with five early kills in the third set. The early momentum was in the Sabercats favor, and their 11-5 lead forced Kentucky Christian to call a timeout.
- Katie Bender led a scrappy defense, as the junior libero kept the ball in play for the Sabercats. The Knights' attack was constant, but the Sabercat defense was alive and well to weather the Knights' storm.
- The Sabercats kept their foot on the gas, as they rode their defensive momentum, settled into an offensive rhythm, and increased their lead to 18-10. From then on, the Sabercats' win was inevitable, and the defending national champions punched their ticket to the title match for the second year in a row in emphatic fashion by taking the final set 25-13. (3-0)
- The #1 Sabercats advance to the NCCAA DII National Championship for the second consecutive year, and will face the winner of the second semifinal between #2 Providence University College and #4 Randall University.
- The championship match will be played tomorrow at 1:00 PM Eastern.
- You can watch the games live at this location courtesy of the Tourbeau Sports Group.