Sabercats Face Stiff Competition at Oshkosh Classic
- Result: MBU 1-3 St. Olaf, MBU 1-3 Finlandia, MBU 0-3 No. 17 St. Thomas
- Venue: Kolf Sports Center, UW-Oshkosh
- Attendance: 80, 270, 85
- MBU Record: now 12-11
- Next Up: at Alverno Tuesday at 7 p.m.
OSHKOSH, Wis. -- The Sabercats had their hands full at the Oshkosh Classic this weekend, as they fell to 3 strong DIII opponents inside of the Kolf Sports Center.
Maranatha dropped matches to St. Olaf, Finlandia, and No. 17 St. Thomas in the 2-day outing. St. Thomas would go on to win the tournament without dropping a set.
Maranatha 1-3 St. Olaf (18-25, 25-15, 21-25, 19-25)
The first match was exciting, as the Sabercats gave the Oles a run for their money. Unfortunately for Maranatha, their first match would turn out to be their sharpest match offensively, as they recorded just 11 hitting errors in the 4-set excursion.
Alexis Bueltel logged 8 kills and 5 block assists to spearhead the efforts at the net, and Karley Johnson tallied 8 kills without a single miscue. The Sabercats were more precise with their hitting, but they would ultimately be overpowered by a hard-working Ole offense.
On the Oles' side of things, St. Olaf boasted a powerful offense, and their 5-1 rotation was polished from start to finish. The Oles averaged almost 15 kills per set, and Lexi Wall made life easy for her hitters, as she logged 55 assists.
Maranatha 1-3 Finlandia (25-13, 20-25, 23-25, 24-26)
The Finlandia match was a tight one, as both of the final 2 sets were decided by 2 points. The Lions were determined to pick up their first-ever win over the Sabercats, as they stormed out to three straight wins in close sets after dropping the first one, 25-13. The Lions' defense was noteworthy, as they forced the Sabercats into 26 hitting errors and less than 10 kills per set in the 4-set match. Finlandia's Marina Dalton recorded 14 kills and 6 blocks while Bueltel was the only Sabercat to reach the double-digit-kills mark with 11.
Karley Johnson joined her sister in the contributions, as the sophomore picked up 6 kills, 20 assists, 8 digs and 3 aces.
Maranatha 0-3 No. 17 St. Thomas (13-25, 18-25, 17-25)
The next morning, the Tommies proved their worth as a Top-25-ranked opponent, as they registered an average of 15-plus kills in each set en route to hitting a tidy .351 as a team. St. Thomas also registered 13 total blocks and 39 digs, as a scrappy defense frustrated the Sabercats from start to finish.
Suderman led the Sabercats with 8 kills in the match while Karley Johnson (16 assists) and Kelsey Johnson (6 kills, 3 digs) put in a strong effort to keep pace with UST. But the powerful Tommies took the match en route to 4 perfect sweeps at the Oshkosh Classic.
Suderman's tally of 19 kills on the weekend sends her past the 500 career kills mark.
The Sabercats' next match will be Tuesday at Alverno at 7 p.m. Catch the details of the match at mbusabercats.com/composite.