WATERTOWN, Wis. -- With a convincing sweep of Moody Bible Institute tonight, the Sabercats' NCCAA regional title defense is proceeding according to plan.
After sweeping Moody behind a stellar performance from Kelsey Johnson, the Sabercats will face #3 Providence tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. to compete for the North Region crown.
- Result: Maranatha 3-0 Moody (25-14, 25-21, 25-12)
- Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
- Location: Watertown, Wis.
- Attendance: 231
- Record: MBU (20-4), MBI (9-8)
Right from the start, it was clear that the Sabercats would settle for nothing less than the win. Claire Hansel kick-started a precise and patient offense that attacked at a clip of .524 for the first set alone, and when Maranatha put up a 25-14 win, they had left Moody reeling.
The second set brought frustrations for Maranatha, as sloppy hitting gave Moody a 10-3 advantage. Enter Allyson Brimer and Kelsey Johnson, who began to turn up the heat in the North Region semifinal with powerful play at the net. Brimer registered three blocks while Johnson put down some decisive kills. With a loud home crowd behind them, the Sabercats turned things around and tied the set at 18, then advanced to a 25-21 win to set themselves up for a trip to the Championship.
At that point, the final chapter had already been written, and the Sabercats were unstoppable in the final set. Johnson would go on to finish the night with 15 kills, 15 assists, and eight digs to lead the Sabercats as they secured their place in the title match.
- Hansel: 4 K, 5 SA, 9 D
- Kelsey: 15 K, 15 A, 8 D, 3 B (one kill shy of her career-high)
- Janke: 11 D
- Brimer: 6 B
- Last time: Maranatha swept Moody at the Rockford Invitational in September
- Series: Maranatha leads Moody 40-10 in the all-time series
The Sabercats have earned a place in the NCCAA North Region Championship and will take on #3 Providence tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. Follow stats at mbusabercats.com/schedule.