CHICAGO, IL – The Lincoln Red Lions tarnished Maranatha’s 10-0 record against the NCCAAII, handing the Crusaders a 3-1 loss in the Midwest Regional Championship match, a day after the Crusaders swept through the Moody Bible Institute Archers in the opening round.
Maranatha struggled to contain the trio of Alicia Carson, Abbey Akre and Erin Taylor, who combined for 50 kills total en route to wins of 25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, despite a .368 team attack percentage.
A crucial turning point in the match occurred in sets two and four, when Maranatha, just several points shy of a set win, watched Lincoln charge its way back to snag a victory.
Maranatha’s attack was led by senior middle blocker Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, IL) and junior Pam Borchardt (Watertown, WI), who combined for over 30 kills, but Lincoln’s attack broke through Maranatha’s front line defense, totaling 65 kills on a .305 attack percentage.
Carson’s hard-hitting led her to a .488 attack percentage while Peterson would counter her attack with 20 kills on a .500 percentage. Borchardt chipped in 12 kills, while piling up 20 assists, and junior setter Emily Thompson (Watertown, WI) amassed 26 assists.
On defense, Sam Swiatek (Walled Lake, MI) posted 15 digs followed up by sophomore Kelli Fox’s (Matthews, N.C.) 10 digs. Freshman Alison Renz (Lake Mills, WI) contributed three block solos and a block assist.
Maranatha now waits on an At-Large Bid to determine whether it will advance to the National Tournament, held in Lincoln, IL, on November 14-16. Maranatha has been ranked #2 in the NCCAAII Top-10 for most of the 2013, right behind #1 Clearwater Christian.