KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Maranatha Crusaders kicked off the NCCAAII National Tournament in Kissimmee with a pair of 3-0 wins over #10 West Coast, and #6 Cairn University.
Against West Coast, Maranatha posted set scores of 25-14, 25-18, and 25-12. The team carried a 7-1 lead before West Coast cut the deficit to 12-10, but senior outside hitter Torey DeLozier (Watertown, Wis.) turned the tide with a 13-4 run, and 1-0 lead in the match.
Maranatha held a 19-5 lead in set two before closing the set on several errors by West Coast, and in set three, the team led by as many as 12, as junior middle blocker Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, Ill.) tallied four kills.
DeLozier finished with 18 kills, while Peterson recorded six kills and two block assists.
Maranatha breezed by #6 Cairn University at 6:30 p.m. EST, sweeping the Highlanders by scores of 25-16, 25-15, and 25-17.
Cairn played Maranatha close in the opening stretch of set one, trailing 10-7, but couldn’t withstand the firepower of DeLozier and Peterson, who finished with five and six kills respectively.
The Crusaders built up big leads in sets two and three, and gave valuable playing time to multiple reserves, extending their record to 11-0 against NCCAAII teams.
Maranatha will need the rest as it moves on to face #7 Ohio Christian at 10:00 a.m. EST and a rematch against #3 Lincoln Christian at 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday.