Seven Up

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Dobson
LEAD

BELOIT, Wis. -- The Sabercats earned their seventh straight win tonight with a gutsy 3-2 comeback at Beloit College, and they did it in style.

Claire Hansel led Maranatha with a career-high 26 kills, Karley Johnson matched her career-high 33 assists, and Kelsey Johnson posted her third triple-double of the 2019 season.

OVERVIEW

  • Result: Maranatha 3-2 Beloit (14-25, 25-22, 25-16, 23-25, 16-14)
  • Venue: Flood Arena, Beloit College
  • Location: Beloit, Wis.
  • Attendance: 65
  • Record: MBU (8-2), BC (8-7)

STORY

The Bucs came out flying, and the Sabercats had a hard time dealing with a tall Beloit block. The Bucs stuffed the Sabercats four times while registering 14 kills in the first set alone, and right away, the Sabercats were handed a 25-14 loss and a clear message that this set would be anything but easy.

But as the Sabercats have already shown this season, their resilience helped them get right back into the match. MBU found solutions offensively, posting 14 kills of their own while swinging at a clip of .239 in the second frame. After a hard back-and-forth battle, the Sabercats earned a 25-22 win and newfound momentum from the tied match.

Thrown out of their stride, the Bucs took a while to find their rhythm. Beloit kept misfiring in the third set, giving Maranatha eight points from attack errors alone. The Sabercats were given some help from the hosts in the process but managed 11 kills on the way to a 25-16 win in the third frame. Hansel upped her kill count to 13 and the Sabercats were looking in the mood for another comeback win.

Just to restate their case, Maranatha smacked down eight kills for their first eight points in the fourth set. Five different student-athletes logged kills in that opening exchange, as the Blue and Gold once again showcased their balance. But despite the high kill count, Maranatha also struggled with misfiring at the net, allowing Beloit to stay right in it. Even after a red-hot 19 kills from Maranatha, the Bucs fought to a 25-23 win, forcing the match into a fifth frame.

Just when everything was on the line, the Sabercats' offense was ruthless.

The Blue and Gold followed up that 19-kill performance with another 13 kills in the final frame, marking 32 of their last 38 points with kills. Hansel, Johnson, and Gabrielle Carpenter finished the match off with kills, and Mattie Bumpus decided the match with a solo block as the Sabercats avenged last year's five-set loss to Beloit for a gutsy five-set win and their seventh straight victory. 

MBU Starters: 4- Hansel, 7- Janke, 9- Johnson, 10- Johnson, 12- Brimer, 17- Carpenter, 22- Ureke

STATS

  • Hansel: Career-high 26 K
  • Hansel: 20 D - her second time reaching the 20-digs mark
  • McKenzie Janke: 24 D
  • Kelsey: 13 K, 29 A, 18 D
  • Karley Johnson: 33 A - ties her career-high
  • Carpenter: 10 K
  • Last time: Beloit beat Maranatha 3-2 in Watertown 
  • Series: Beloit leads the all-time series 8-7

OPPONENTS

  • Beloit (NCAA DIII) competes in the Midwest Conference
  • The Bucs were 2-2 at home coming into tonight
  • Beloit will begin MWC play on Saturday against Knox

NEXT

The Sabercats will continue their seven-game road trip with a 6:00 p.m. clash with Holy Family (formerly Silver Lake) on Friday. Follow at mbusabercats.com/schedule.