ANKENY, Iowa -- The Sabercats have hit the ground running in the 2019 campaign, sweeping Faith Baptist Bible College in the opening match of the season.
The Sabercats have now won 13 consecutive season-openers, as Coach Regina DeLozier remains perfect in the opening test of the season.
- Result: Maranatha 3-0 Faith (25-12, 25-14, 25-9)
- Venue: Ankeny Christian Academy
- Location: Ankeny, Iowa
- Record: MBU (1-0), FBBC (0-6)
The senior-heavy Sabercats were not fazed by the boisterous atmosphere in Ankeny - Maranatha hit .343 with 15 kills in the opening set to establish early authority. Claire Hansel, Karley Johnson, Kelsey Johnson, and Gabrielle Carpenter were firing on all cylinders, sharing the offensive load and keeping the Eagles guessing.
After a commanding 25-12 win in the opening set, the Sabercats cooled off in set two, relying primarily on their opponents' miscues to maintain the lead. McKenzie Janke and company neutralized the Eagles' attack, allowing just seven kills to drop in the entire match. Maranatha posted a 25-14 win in the second set and was headed for the clean sweep to open 2019.
That sweep came without a shadow of a doubt.
With a 25-9 win in the final frame, the Sabercats had breezed through their opening match of the season and had already begun preparations for the Buena Vista Triangular. Hansel ended up with 12 kills and 10 digs to lead the charge, and MBU boasted an all-around win to get the season headed in the right direction.
- Hansel: 12 K, 10 D
- Kelsey: 8 K, 16 A
- Karley: 7K, 16 A, 8 D
- Carpenter: 8 K
- Janke: 18 D
- MBU: allowed just 7 kills
- Series: Maranatha leads the all-time series 16-1
- Faith competes with Maranatha in the NCCAA North Region
- Faith also competes in the Midwest Christian College Conference
- The last time Faith beat Maranatha was in 2000
The Sabercats will stay in Iowa tomorrow for a tri-match at Buena Vista University, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Follow at mbusabercats.com/schedule.