GREENVILLE, S.C. -- When it was all on the line at the NCCAA DII National Tournament, the Sabercats were unstoppable.
With a 3-0 sweep of Geneva College, the Sabercats have gone from being in danger of an early exit to winning Pool B to advance to the semifinals of the National Tournament.
- Result: #2 Maranatha 3-0 #3 Geneva (26-24, 25-15, 25-20)
- Venue: Davis Field House, Bob Jones University
- Location: Greenville, S.C.
- Attendance: 185
- Records: MBU (25-5), GC (26-10)
#3 Geneva (Mideast Region Champions): The Sabercats knew it was a do or die situation, and they rose to the occasion against Geneva, amping up the energy and attacking with a little extra heat in the fight for their nationals survival.
Right away, it was clear that the match would be tight-knit, as neither team grabbed hold of the momentum. The Sabercats seemed to be a step quicker than they were yesterday, and after they sharpened up their passing, Claire Hansel, Gabrielle Carpenter, and Kelsey Johnson got into a rhythm offensively, swinging Maranatha out to a 26-24 win.
The Sabercats rode that momentum into the second set, coasting to a 25-15 win to set up the unlikely sweep. McKenzie Janke was ubiquitous defensively, as the Sabercats limited the Golden Tornadoes to their lowest single-set points total in over a month. After the slow start yesterday, the Sabercats seemed to be a different team.
The final set was a nail-biter, but the Sabercats ground it out in a gutsy, crunch-time win. Hansel was spearheading the efforts at the net, and Janke and Johnson were bolstering a hard-working defense en route to the straight-set sweep.
MBU Starters: 4- Hansel, 7- Janke, 9- Johnson, 10- Johnson, 12- Brimer, 17-Carpenter, 22- Ureke
- Hansel: 15 K, 11 D, now has a double-double in every match at Nationals
- Kelsey: 12 K, 17 A, 12 D, now has 2 triple-doubles at Nationals
- Janke: 17 D
- Jessica Ureke: 7 K, 14 D
- Last time: Maranatha beat Geneva 3-2 in pool play last year at Nationals
- Series: MBU leads the series 2-0
The Sabercats will advance to the NCCAA DII National Semifinal later today at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Maranatha will face the Runner-up in Pool A for a chance to go back to the National Championship. Stay up to date at mbusabercats.com/schedule.