Top of the North

Top of the North

LEAD

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- For the sixth straight year, the Sabercats Women's Volleyball team has won the NCCAA regional championship.

With a 3-0 win over Providence University College this afternoon, the Sabercats remain untouched in NCCAA play this season and have earned their 10th consecutive berth at the NCCAA DII National Tournament.

OVERVIEW

  • Result: Maranatha 3-0 Providence (25-22, 25-15, 25-10)
  • Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
  • Location: Watertown, Wis.
  • Attendance: 237
  • Record: MBU (22-4), PUC (8-12)

STORY

Providence may have had a losing record coming into today, but they are still finding their nitch in a season that extends until the end of February. Like Maranatha, Providence had not dropped a set against NCCAA North Region opponents this season, and they showed right from the start that they could hang with MBU. Errors from MBU gave the Pilots a 9-2 lead in the first set, forcing Regina DeLozier to call a timeout. For the Sabercats, it looked like they might drop a set against an NCCAA rival for the first time this season. But just as quickly as the momentum was with the Pilots, the momentum swung back in favor of Maranatha, who went on a 14-5 run in the later stages of the set to bring the gym to its feet.

Gabrielle CarpenterClaire Hansel, and Kelsey Johnson all kept the offense going for MBU, who rode the electric momentum inside the MBU Gymnasium to complete the comeback and win 25-22.

From there, the Sabercats took over.

In the final two sets, the Sabercats held Providence to a combined 25 points, putting on a singularly unstoppable display that fit the description of "regional champs" to a T.

With an attack line of 16-1-33 in the second set, the Sabercats tore through the Providence defense without stopping for breath. Five straight kills opened the second set, and Hansel and Carpenter teamed up for eight in the second frame alone. McKenzie Janke and Jessica Ureke put the Pilots' regional hopes on hold defensively, and when a final Hansel kill won the set by 10 points, the outcome of the match had essentially been determined.

The final set was over in a matter of minutes. It turned out to be a celebration sequence, as the Sabercats were firing on all cylinders and seeing contributions from reserves and starters alike. Fittingly, it was Hansel that put down the final point as the Sabercats secured the regional title for the sixth year in a row.

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

STATS

  • Hansel: 14 K, 3 D, 2 B
  • Carpenter: 10 K, 3 B
  • Kelsey: 7 K, 17 A, 6 D, 2 B
  • Karley: 6 K, 16 A, 5 D
  • Janke: 14 D
  • Ureke: 4 K, 14 D
  • Last time: Maranatha swept Providence in the 2018 NCCAA North Region Semifinal 
  • Series: Maranatha leads Providence 7-0 in the all-time series 

OPPONENTS

  • Providence competes with the Sabercats for the NCCAA North Region
  • Providence also competes in the CCAA in Canada
  • Providence's season extends until the end of February

NEXT

The Sabercats have secured a place at the NCCAA DII National Championship (November 20-22) for the 10th straight year and will learn their seeding next Saturday night. Follow stats at mbusabercats.com/schedule

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