Championship Bound

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson

ANKENY, Iowa -- The Sabercats have set the stage for their fifth consecutive regional title, as they swept Oak Hills and Providence today to earn an NCCAA North Region Championship berth.

The Sabercats will play at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow and will face the winner of Emmaus Bible College and Moody Bible Institute.

  • Results:
    • #2 Maranatha 3-0 #7 Oak Hills (25-23, 25-18, 25-22)
    • #2 Maranatha 3-0 #3 Providence (25-11, 25-22, 25-18)
  • Venue: Convocation Center, Faith Baptist Bible College
  • Location: Ankeny, Iowa
  • Record: MBU is now 19-12

Oak Hills: The Sabercats overpowered the Wolfpack, as they limited Oak Hills to just eight kills in the entire match. MBU limited OHCC to single digits in two of the three frames and attacked for a tidy .333 percent in the contest. Kelsey Johnson put up yet another triple-double, as she logged 12 kills, 17 assists, and 11 digs. Claire Hansel added nine kills of her own, and Karley Johnson registered an eight-kill, 15-assist, and 11-dig showing.

After the opening match against the Wolfpack, the Sabercats were ready for an even bigger test.

Providence: The Pilots were somewhat of an unknown factor entering the tournament, as they had only played three of the other seven regional teams during the regular season. Historically, the Pilots have made some noise in the postseason, but the Sabercats quickly spoiled PUC's plans with a 25-11 win in the opening set. The Sabercats' attack was one of variety in the middle stages of the set, and the Pilots could not solve the Sabercats' unpredictability.

Providence came closest in the second, as they put up 10 kills and 22 points. The second act was characterized by momentum swings, as the middle of the set saw the lead change hands a few different times. Late kills from Gabrielle Carpenter and Hansel helped solidify the set, and the Sabercats were poised for their sixth straight win over the Pilots.

That win came soon enough. A 10-1 run in the middle of the set seemed to remove all doubt that Maranatha was the better team on the day. Down 22-10, the Pilots made things interesting with a 7-1 run, but that run simply prolonged the inevitable. Two late miscues from Providence gave Maranatha a 25-18 win and a ticket to the NCCAA North Region Championship.

  • McKenzie Janke: led MBU with 35 digs on the day
  • vs PUC: Kelsey Johnson put up 7 kills, 14 assists, and 8 digs
  • OHCC Series: MBU now holds a 2-0 advantage in the series
  • PUC Series: The Sabercats hold a 6-0 record against the Pilots

The Sabercats will play in tomorrow's championship match at 2:00 p.m., and will await the winner of the other semifinal match between No. 1 Emmaus Bible College and No. 5 Moody Bible Institute. Follow at

Regional Hosts Announced
June 13, 2019 Regional Hosts Announced
They'll be Back
December 4, 2018 They'll be Back
NCCAA All-Americans Announced
November 28, 2018 NCCAA All-Americans Announced
Record-Setting Fall
November 26, 2018 Record-Setting Fall
Only the Best
November 26, 2018 Only the Best
Fourpeat: Foiled
November 17, 2018 Fourpeat: Foiled
Fourpeat: Forged
November 16, 2018 Fourpeat: Forged
Fourpeat: Framed
November 16, 2018 Fourpeat: Framed
Fourpeat: Focused
November 15, 2018 Fourpeat: Focused
Chasing Four
November 14, 2018 Chasing Four
Hansel Hoards Awards
November 12, 2018 Hansel Hoards Awards
Monthly Honors for Hansel
November 8, 2018 Monthly Honors for Hansel
Champions Again
November 3, 2018 Champions Again
Championship Bound
November 2, 2018 Championship Bound
Hands down Hansel
October 30, 2018 Hands down Hansel
Miltown Split
October 26, 2018 Miltown Split
Hats Off for Hansel
October 23, 2018 Hats Off for Hansel
All in a Day's Work
October 20, 2018 All in a Day's Work
New News, Old News
October 16, 2018 New News, Old News
Twice is Nice
October 13, 2018 Twice is Nice
Add it to the Collection
October 10, 2018 Add it to the Collection
Johnson, Sponable Shine On
October 9, 2018 Johnson, Sponable Shine On
Winning Weekend
October 6, 2018 Winning Weekend
Five-Set Raid
September 29, 2018 Five-Set Raid
Defending the Home Court
September 28, 2018 Defending the Home Court
Back on Track
September 25, 2018 Back on Track
A Hard Day's Work
September 22, 2018 A Hard Day's Work
Overload Week
September 20, 2018 Overload Week
Johnson Doubles Up
September 18, 2018 Johnson Doubles Up
Long, Hard Fight
September 18, 2018 Long, Hard Fight
Full Steam Ahead
September 15, 2018 Full Steam Ahead
Slugging it Out
September 14, 2018 Slugging it Out
Alumni Day 2018 Review
August 25, 2018 Alumni Day 2018 Review