Defending the Home Court

Defending the Home Court

THE LEAD

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The Sabercats dominated the competition tonight at the Maranatha Triangular, sweeping Finlandia and Northland in straight sets on the MBU campus.

Maranatha had a sharp offense to combat the Lions in the opening match, and MBU continued the momentum in the second match to sweep the night.

THE OVERVIEW

  • Results: 
    • Maranatha 3-0 Finlandia (25-21, 25-21, 25-23)
    • Maranatha 3-0 Northland (25-18, 25-16, 25-17)
  • Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
  • Location: Watertown, Wis.
  • Record: MBU (11-8)

THE STORY

Finlandia: The match was tightly-contested even though it ended in three sets. Both teams came out swinging early on, and Finlandia seemed to be a surprise factor at the net, as they found the deep gaps in the Sabercats' defense.

Maranatha seemed to be just a little bit sluggish and off of their rhythm in the opening exchanges, but late kills from Claire Hansel and Kelsey Johnson helped to right the proverbial ship and tie the set at 20-20. From there, Maranatha went on a 5-1 run, and the set-ending kill came from Allyson Brimer, who led Maranatha in the opening set with four kills.

The Lions seemed to be tying the match in the second set, as they crept out to a 16-13 lead, but a five-point streak from MBU halted the Lions in their tracks. Maranatha's attack was precise when it needed to be, as they closed out the set with eight kills from their last 11 points. New set, same score, and the Sabercats were on the cusp of a straight-set sweep.

That sweep came soon enough, but once again, the Lions gave the Sabercats a run for their money. MBU allowed Finlandia to take a 12-9 lead, but a mid-set killing spree from MBU (including three kills from Kelsey Johnson) tied the match at 17. A couple of big blocks late in the set pushed the Sabercats over the edge, as MBU held off a late Finlandia charge to secure the sweep. Gabrielle Carpenter ended up as the biggest threat for the MBU offense, as she posted an attack line of 12 kills, zero errors, and 18 attempts.

In the first match, MBU's offense logged a season-high mark for kills in a three-set match, as the Sabercats slammed down 46 kills in the event.

Northland: The Jills gave the Sabercats more than they expected in the early stages of the set, as the visitors stayed closely matched with MBU in the opening rallies. But a 7-0 run in the middle stages gave Maranatha the momentum that they needed, and they soon came away with a 25-18 win in the first set.

Maranatha's offense was good in the first set and was even better in the second. The Sabercats put down 16 kills on Northland, as MBU swung their way to a 25-16 win and a tight grip on the match 

The Sabercats had control of the match, and they soon closed out a celebratory night with another sweep. Northland put up a fight in the middle stages of the frame, but the Sabercats soon closed the proceedings with a 6-0 run that helped them to a 25-17 win.

THE STATS

  • Carpenter: attack line of 12-0-18 in the first match
  • Kelsey: led MBU with 11 kills in the second match
  • MBU: 46 kills in the Finlandia match (season-best for a 3-set match)
  • Series: Maranatha now leads the Northland series, 2-1
  • Series: Maranatha now leads the Finlandia series, 10-1

THE OUTLOOK

The Sabercats will stay home tomorrow night for an 8:00 p.m. Parents' Night clash with MSOE. Follow at mbusabercats.com/composite and watch at mbusabercats.com/live.

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