Slugging it Out

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson
THE LEAD

FOND DU LAC, Wis. -- Historically speaking, the Maranatha-Marian series has been a toss-up, and tonight was no different. After four hard-fought sets in Fond du Lac, the Marian Sabres came away with a 3-1 win.

Claire Hansel had a career-high 15 kills on the night and Karley Johnson was one dig away from a triple-double.

THE OVERVIEW

  • Result: Maranatha 1-3 Marian (23-25, 13-25, 28-26, 19-25)
  • Venue: Sadoff Gymnasium, Marian University
  • Location: Fond du Lac, Wis.
  • Attendance: 184
  • Record: MBU (6-4), MU (4-5)

THE STORY

Marian came screaming out of the gate in the opening set, running out to a 9-2 lead. The Sabres had the upper hand at 20-14, but a couple of kills from the Johnson Sisters sparked a four-point streak. Maranatha had the set at 23-24, but one final kill from Marian ended the set in favor of the hosts, who logged 17 kills as a team in the opener.

Energized from the first set win, Marian dominated the proceedings in the second frame. Maranatha resisted Marian's progress when Karley and Claire smacked down four kills combined in the early going, but Marian put together a 10-0 run to jump out to an 18-7 lead. From there, five more kills from the Sabres locked up a 25-13 win. 

Set three was a battle from start to finish, as the Sabercats took a 28-26 win over the Sabres. Claire and Karley were at it again, as they each posted a half-dozen kills to keep Maranatha in front. On the defensive side of things, the Sabercats had four players pick up double-digit digs throughout the match, and MBU had to contest a match-high 52 attacks from the Sabres. This set was won defensively and offensively for MBU.

Marian learned about Hansel's prowess the hard way, but they shut her down in the fourth set, allowing just two kills from the hard-hitting sophomore. Kelsey Johnson stepped in with three kills of her own, but MBU matched their 10 kills with an uncharacteristic 10 hitting errors. The Sabercats' miscues did the damage, and Marian won the match with a 25-19 win in the fourth set.

THE STATS

  • Hansel: career-best 15 kills and career-tying 17 digs
  • Karley: 11 kills, 16 assists, 9 digs
  • Kelsey: 20 assists, 12 digs
  • McKenzie Janke: 20 digs - second-best this season
  • Marian: the Sabres' scrappy defense logged 95 digs in the match
  • Series: Marian currently leads the all-time series, 35-33

THE OUTLOOK

The Sabercats will participate in the Rockford Quad tomorrow starting at 11 a.m. Find details of the three-match day at mbusabercats.com/composite.

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