Five-Set Raid

Five-Set Raid
THE LEAD

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The Raiders of MSOE evened the odds tonight, as the visitors took home a dramatic win in front of a spirited crowd on the MBU campus.

The win for MSOE offset an earlier-season loss to MBU. The two teams will meet for a "rubber match" later this season. On the night, Claire Hansel (16) and Kelsey Johnson (15) recorded career-high kills.

THE OVERVIEW

  • Result: Maranatha 2-3 MSOE (21-25, 25-21, 16-25, 28-26, 11-15)
  • Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
  • Location: Watertown, Wis.
  • Attendance: 233
  • Record: MBU (11-9), MSOE (7-10)

THE STORY

The Sabercats began to pick up steam midway through the first set, as an offense led by Hansel picked up eight kills to push MBU out to a 17-12 lead. It was then that MSOE showed their resolve, and the first set ended up being a microcosm of the match itself in that regard. MSOE's offense began to heat up, and they strung together an 8-2 run to put the Sabercats on their heels. Five kills down the stretch bolstered the MSOE attack numbers for the set, as they picked up 16 kills as a team to win, 25-21.

After the unexpected loss in the opening set, the Sabercats responded positively by racking up 18 kills in the second set alone. Johnson was practically unstoppable, as she slammed it down eight times to give MBU the boost in the set. Overall, it was clearly an offensive battle in the second frame, as the two teams combined for 30 kills and 46 points.

After MSOE rebounded with a 25-16 win in set three, the Sabercats began what was almost a comeback for the ages. 

The Raiders held match point at 24-22, but Johnson helped Maranatha claw their way back and tie the set. In a nail-biting climax, Johnson put down two kills in a row to give Maranatha a memorable 28-26 win and force a deciding set in front of a suddenly energetic home crowd.

Unfortunately for Maranatha, the Raiders refused to be outdone. After a competitive opening exchange, the Raiders pulled away thanks to two late kills from Julia Zeamer, who posted six kills on the night. After a 15-11 win in the final set, the Raiders secured the match, but it was anything but easy for the Milwaukee school.

THE STATS

  • Hansel: landed a career-high 16 kills
  • Kelsey Johnson: career-high 15 kills was a part of her fifth triple-double this season
  • Hannah Pekarek (MSOE): 26 kills on the night
  • MBU: five players with double-digit digs
  • Kill count: MSOE 63-57 Maranatha
  • Digs: each team had 98 digs
  • Series: MBU leads the all-time series, 49-10

THE OUTLOOK

The Sabercats travel to Silver Lake College next Saturday for a tri-match with Silver Lake and Grace Christian University. Match times are 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Find directions at mbusabercats.com/composite.

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