Through Pool Play

Through Pool Play

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- They may have won the first two sets, but Maranatha was ultimately surprised 3-2 by the courageous and determined Randall University Saints.

Despite the loss, the Sabercats are still through to the 2020 NCCAA DII National Semifinal, and will take on #2 Bob Jones University tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. in a rematch of last year's national championship.


  • Results: #1 Maranatha 2-3 #4 Randall (25-20, 25-22, 11-25, 20-25, 12-15)
  • Venue: Davis Field House, Bob Jones University
  • Location: Greenville, S.C.
  • Attendance: 73
  • Records: MBU (19-4), RU (9-7)


The match was delayed an hour and a half, meaning that the Sabercats had to readjust their competitive clocks, as it were. Undeterred, the Sabercats came out swinging, gradually building a lead that would hold until the set was done. Up 25-20 and leading the match 1-0, the Sabercats were flying.

But Randall made it very clear very quickly that they were there to play. Even though they lost the opening set, they vaulted out to a 16-7 lead in the second, putting the Sabercats on the back foot.

But Maranatha responded like champions. Claire Hansel, Caitrin Kemlo, and Mattie Bumpus fueled a big-swinging attack while Emily Johnson and Erica Ureke kept the ball alive for the Sabercats to make use of. Maranatha slowly but surely gained momentum back and ultimately completed the thrilling comeback with a 25-22 win. 

But as it turned out, that come-from-behind win took the wind out of the Sabercats' sails. They came out flat in the next set and allowed Randall the 11-25 win. Just like that, the match had turned on its head. The Sabercats were in front, but the momentum was completely on the other side of the net.

The same resolve that pulled the Sabercats back from that deficit in the second set showed signs of returning, but Randall was in too good of a rhythm from the third frame. The Saints thwarted every idea that the Sabercats threw at them. RU had four players with double-digit kills by the end of the match, and those four took advantage of the Sabercats' lapse in energy, putting down 21 kills in the fourth set alone to even the match 2-2.

A nervy fifth set was on the docket, and it could've gone either way. Early dominance at the net from Bumpus and Hansel gave the Sabercats a 7-5 edge, but Randall finally completed the comeback. Two late kills from Brooke Spears - one of Randall's most dangerous players on the day - put the killer blow down.

Just like that, Randall secured the upset, the comeback, their first-ever win over Maranatha, and the top spot in Pool A. All in one fell swoop.

MBU Starters: 3- Johnson, 4- Hansel, 8- Bumpus, 11- Ureke (L), 14- Kemlo, 22- Miller, 23- Anderson


  • Hansel: 16 K, 16 D
  • Bumpus: 13 K, 7 B
  • Johnson: 38 A, career-high 24 D
  • Ureke: 28 D (ties carer-high)
  • Kemlo: 11 K, 4 SA
  • Series: Maranatha now leads the Randall series 5-1


The Sabercats take on #2 Bob Jones University tomorrow at 12:30 Eastern in a rematch of the 2019 NCCAA DII National Championship. The winner of the Maranatha-Bob Jones match will play in the 2020 NCCAA DII National Championship tomorrow night at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Follow at


A Sweep for Hansel
May 6, 2021 A Sweep for Hansel
Exceeding Expectations
December 29, 2020 Exceeding Expectations
The End of the Road
November 20, 2020 The End of the Road
This Means More
November 19, 2020 This Means More
Through Pool Play
November 19, 2020 Through Pool Play
Hansel Honored
November 18, 2020 Hansel Honored
More History Made
November 18, 2020 More History Made
Fast Start
November 18, 2020 Fast Start
Inside Pool A
November 17, 2020 Inside Pool A
Third Shuffle
November 16, 2020 Third Shuffle
Second Shuffle
November 13, 2020 Second Shuffle
Nationals Field Adjusted
November 11, 2020 Nationals Field Adjusted
Reclaim the Fame
November 8, 2020 Reclaim the Fame
Champs Again
November 7, 2020 Champs Again
The Best in the North
November 6, 2020 The Best in the North
Schedule Shuffle
November 5, 2020 Schedule Shuffle
Title Defense: Targeted
November 2, 2020 Title Defense: Targeted
Eligibility Extended
October 29, 2020 Eligibility Extended
Three More
October 26, 2020 Three More
Different Day, Same Story
October 24, 2020 Different Day, Same Story
Senior Night Celebrations
October 23, 2020 Senior Night Celebrations
Traveling Trifecta
October 19, 2020 Traveling Trifecta
North Region Routs
October 17, 2020 North Region Routs
Home Again, Home Again
October 10, 2020 Home Again, Home Again
Two for Hansel
September 28, 2020 Two for Hansel
Win Streak Reset
September 26, 2020 Win Streak Reset
300 for DeLozier
September 23, 2020 300 for DeLozier
Perfect Seven
September 19, 2020 Perfect Seven
Two for the Show
September 14, 2020 Two for the Show
Two for Two
September 12, 2020 Two for Two
Spikefest Champs
September 5, 2020 Spikefest Champs
Back with a Win
September 4, 2020 Back with a Win
Prepared to Prepare
September 3, 2020 Prepared to Prepare
New Look
September 3, 2020 New Look
Nostalgia and "Normality"
August 31, 2020 Nostalgia and "Normality"
Fall Schedule Updates
July 27, 2020 Fall Schedule Updates