MILWAUKEE -- The Sabercats faced four powerful DIII programs this weekend, concluding their regular season with a 2-2 showing at the Wisconsin Lutheran Invitational.
Claire Hansel continued her rich vein of form, as she hammered down an average of 14.25 kills per match and was named to the all-tournament team. Kelsey Johnson passed 1,000 career assists with her performances on the weekend.
- Maranatha 3-0 MSOE (25-23, 25-18, 25-22)
- Maranatha 3-2 Wisconsin Lutheran (25-16, 16-25, 19-25, 22-25)
- Maranatha 3-1 Central (24-26, 25-22, 26-24, 25-19)
- Maranatha 0-3 Wis.-River Falls (19-25, 20-25, 15-25)
- Venue: WLC Recreation Complex
- Location: Milwaukee
- Record: MBU concludes the regular season with a record of 17-12
MSOE: MBU had already picked up a 2-3 loss to WLC on September 20, and they had split results with MSOE. So the win over the Raiders sees Maranatha win this season's series, 2-1.
The Sabercats relied on a scrappy defense to take down the Raiders in the first match of the night. Three different players recorded double-digit digs for MBU, and Jessica Ureke led the defensive efforts with 17 digs of her own.
Hansel logged 15 kills in the three-set excursion, and the Sabercats held off a 17-kill effort from MSOE to take a decisive win in the third set.
WLC: In the second match of the evening, the Sabercats took a four-set loss against a hard-hitting Warriors team, who landed just about every third attack for a kill. The Warriors posted 59 kills in the match and a .331 attack percentage.
On the other side of the court, Hansel recorded 18 kills while Gabrielle Carpenter pitched in nine.
Karley Johnson and Kelsey Johnson posted similar stats to add to their similar looks, as they matched each other exactly in the MSOE match (5 kills, 21 attempts) and in the WLC match (6 kills, 2 aces each).
CC: A four-set win against Central was one of the Sabercats' most impressive wins of the season, as Central is an American Rivers Conference opponent with a program of 50 players strong. Undeterred by the depth discrepancy, the Sabercats came out swinging, knocking down 19 kills in the opening set, which fell 26-24 in favor of the Dutch. MBU had 10 hitting errors in the opening set but sharpened up their game quickly, taking the next three sets to take a hard-earned, 3-1 win. Central made the Sabercats earn their keep, as the Dutch averaged almost 23 points per set in the loss.
Kelsey Johnson had another triple-double performance, as she registered an impressive 14 kills, 27 assists, and 15 digs. Hansel tallied 15 kills and 14 digs of her own.
UWRF: Against a tall and hard-hitting squad from Wisconsin-River Falls, the Sabercats found themselves hard-pressed to gain momentum. The Falcons were able to hit over the Sabercats' blocks, as UWRF notched 47 kills in the three-set contest. Hansel led the Sabercats' offense with nine kills and McKenzie Janke tried to keep the defense running with 16 digs, but the Falcons proved to be a force. UWRF landed three different players with double-digit kills on the day, taking home a decisive three-set win
- Hansel: Passes the 500 career kills and 500 career digs marks
- Kelsey: 8th triple-double of the season (T-3 in the NCAA DIII)
- MSOE Series: The MBU-MSOE series now stands at 50-10 in Maranatha's favor
- WLC Series: MBU now holds a 38-22 advantage in the WLC series
- CC Series: Central now holds a 2-1 advantage
- UWRF Series: The Falcons have won all three series matchups
The Sabercats will await their seeding for the NCCAA North Region Tournament, which will be held next weekend at Faith Baptist Bible College. Follow at mbusabercats.com/composite.