- Results: Maranatha 3-2 CUW (22-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-18, 15-12), Maranatha 0-3 Olivet (24-26, 12-25, 20-25)
- Venue: R. John Buuck Fieldhouse
- Attendance: 51, 39
- Record: Sabercats are now 1-1
- Next Match for MBU: Saturday, Jan. 20 at 11 a.m., 4 p.m. - MBU Triangular
MEQUON, Wis. -- The Sabercats wrote some history today, as they won their inaugural intercollegiate varsity match at the Concordia-Wisconsin Triangular.
A thrilling 5-set win over the hosting Falcons gave MBU a winning start to their inaugural campaign, and the Sabercats stayed competitive in a following loss to Olivet College to mark a 1-1 start for the program.
Maranatha relied on their club-volleyball veterans in the opening match, as the team had to regroup after a shaky start. MBU recorded a detrimental 10 hitting errors in the first set alone, but managed to stay competitive despite the miscues. When all was said and done in the opening set, Maranatha forced the Falcons to work for their 2-point win.
Enter Derek Wallis, whose 6 kills in the second set fueled the start of the turnaround for MBU. Wallis's counterpart at the net was Luke Hassenplug, who came out swinging in the second set with 4 kills of his own. That second frame seemed to settle Maranatha into their rhythm, as they were cleaner offensively from that point on.
After a tradeoff in sets 3 and 4, the Sabercats showed their determination to announce a winning arrival to the program. An impressive 9 kills graced the Sabercats' line in the final set, 5 of which came from the capable hand of Wallis. Andrew Carpenter finished the job with the final kill for MBU, who outlasted CUW in a match that lasted over 2 hours. Quite the journey for the program's first win.
Wallis finished the inaugural match with 19 kills and 12 digs, and Hassenplug chipped in 10 kills of his own. Joel Depue led a scrappy defense with 29 digs while Tim Kile and Matt Wetzel dished out 21 and 20 assists, respectively.
In the second match of the day, the Sabercats found themselves pitted against a clean and hard-hitting Olivet College squad, who took home the win in straight sets.
Olivet played to the strengths of their 5-1 rotation, and registered 17 kills in the first set alone. But despite the polished display from the Comets, the Sabercats made the match difficult, forcing the first set into a tie. The Comets took the opener, but the Sabercats proved themselves to be hard to beat.
After the initial back-and-forth clash in the opening set, the Comets closed things out. The Sabercats struggled to shake off some miscues, as 31 errors were an unwelcome entry to the MBU stat sheet. But all in all, the Sabercats showed they were there to play, averaging just shy of 20 points per set in the loss.
When all was said and done, the inaugural Maranatha Men's Volleyball squad had a 1-1 start to the season.
Wallis finished the day with 31 kills, Hassenplug registered 12, and Taylor Dafoe pitched in 11.
Depue ended up with 40 digs in the 7-set outing.
Wetzel distributed 33 assists on the day while Kile dished out 28.
The Sabercats will host two matches tomorrow against Trinity Christian and Mount Mercy. The matches are set to begin at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Catch the details at mbusabercats.com/composite.