Photo credit: Bridger Buchi
Photo credit: Bridger Buchi

Eagles Spoil Sabercats' Home Opener


  • Result: Maranatha 0-3 Judson (15-25, 20-25, 21-25)
  • Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
  • Attendance: 511
  • Record: Sabercats are now 5-6
  • Next Game for MBU: Saturday, September 16 at 1 p.m. vs Wisconsin Lutheran

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- In a cross-divisional NCCAA matchup, the Sabercats faced regional powerhouse Judson University, who entered the match with a convincing 8-3 record and a #6 ranking in the NCCAA DI. The hard-hitting Eagles of JU proved to be too hot to handle, as they spoiled MBU's home opener by taking home a straight-set sweep.

The Eagles came out of the gate with some precise and emphatic hitting, as their 7 hitting errors were outshined by 31 kills in the opening 2 sets. On the other side of the spectrum, the Sabercats could not find the holes in the Eagles' defense, as the visitors kept Maranatha at bay while jumping out to an early 10-3 lead. From there, the Sabercats tried to rally, but Judson held them off. This trend set the tone for the night ahead.

Judson took control of the first set, as they came out 15-25 winners. Down but not out, the Sabercats seemed to regroup for the final 2 sets, and they made the Eagles nervous by reaching 20 or more points in each set. Katie Bender was her typical active self, as she cleaned the floor with 20 digs on the night. Kelsey Johnson (10 digs, 1 solo block) was a defensive mainstay as well. Madeline Suderman tried to rally the attack with a 10-kill showing on the night, but the Sabercats could not find a lasting momentum swing.

Despite the home floor advantage and a revitalized approach after the match-opening loss, the Sabercats could not solve the Judson defense nor find an answer for the Eagles' powerful attack. Judson seemed unfazed and determined as a unit, and their unpredictable 6-2 lineup caused problems for MBU throughout the match. Judson registered 4 solo blocks and 8 block assists on the night as a team, and through the 3 sets, the Eagles were credited with a .237 hitting percentage while the Sabercats hit for just .086 percent. 

Some mainstays for the Eagles included Taylor Konchel (12 kills, 13 digs) and Kenzie Ebert (11 kills, 7 digs). Natlie Kofie (13 assists, 6 digs) and Natalie Ricca (17 assists, 5 digs) were key components of the Eagles' success as well.

For the Sabercats, some notables included Madeline Suderman and Karley Johnson. Suderman recorded 10 kills, 1 solo block and 1 block assist while Johnson tallied 15 assists and 4 digs.

The next chance for the Sabercats to grab a home win will be this Saturday at 1 p.m. when they host the Warriors of Wisconsin Lutheran College. The two teams met twice last year, and the Sabercats took home straight-set wins in both meetings.

Find details of the game - including live stats and video - at