Twice is Nice

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- After a week of practices, the Sabercats had a welcome change of pace in a 3-0 sweep of Alverno College this afternoon.

Highlighting the box score was Kelsey Johnson, who recorded an error-less 11 kills of 18 attempts. The junior recorded another triple-double and is now tied for third in the NCAA DIII in that category.

  • Result: Maranatha 3-0 Alverno (25-12, 25-10, 26-24)
  • Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
  • Location: Watertown, Wis.
  • Attendance: 97
  • Records: MBU (14-9), AC (2-21)

Two consecutive aces from Claire Hansel boosted the Sabercats to a 6-0 run in the early stages of the first set, and the hosts never looked back from that point on. Collectively and individually, the Sabercats kept the Inferno guessing with a healthy variety on offense: six players from MBU registered kills in the opening set, as Maranatha cruised out to a well-balanced, 25-12 win in set one. MBU used a 6-1 win to close out the opening frame, and Jessica Ureke logged two kills in that closing stretch to seal the deal.

The second set was the most lopsided of the three. When Maranatha came out with a 12-2 run to get things going, the Inferno began to realize that they got more than they bargained for. Some unforced Alverno errors characterized the visitors' deficit, but Maranatha stayed sharp on their end, as they recorded a hitting percentage above .500 in the second set. Four kills from Johnson and three from Gabrielle Carpenter kept the momentum rolling for the hard-working hosts. After two sets, the Inferno seemed to be all but doused.

But the visitors looked determined to get something out of the third set, as they recorded a match-best 14 kills to stay on level terms with Maranatha throughout it. Alverno allowed Maranatha to grab an 18-13 lead but quickly answered with a 5-1 run to make Maranatha second-guess. Despite the Inferno's new life, the Sabercats did what they needed to do to win the match. After Coach Regina DeLozier called a timeout, a kill from Johnson and an ace from McKenzie Janke gave MBU a welcome three-set win, which was their third consecutive win in straight sets.

  • Johnson: 11 kills, 15 assists, 13 digs
  • Karley Johnson: 8-0-15 attack line, 17 assists, 6 digs
  • MBU: attack percentage of .347 in the match
  • Points: MBU 45-29 AC
  • Series: MBU leads the all-time series, 23-1

  • The Inferno compete in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference
  • Alverno's wins this season have come against Trinity Bible (NCCAA North) and CalTech (SCIAC)
  • Cailey Jeske leads the Inferno with 192 kills on the year coming into today

The Sabercats will travel to Dubuque, Iowa next Saturday to compete in the Emmaus Tri. Match times are 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Follow at

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