RIVER FOREST, IL – The Maranatha volleyball team was defeated 3-1 by North Central, and 3-0 by the Dominican Stars on Friday evening at the Concordia University Chicago Invitational Tournament.
Against North Central, Maranatha took the first set with a thrilling 26-24 win after what seemed to be a game that the Cardinals would win. North Central carried a 19-11 lead at one point, but Maranatha rallied to tie the score at 23-23, rattling off eight-straight points,, punctuated by a kill by senior middle blocker Lauren Schulz (Lake Mills, WI).
After the Cardinals posted a kill on the next play to put the Crusaders on the verge of a first set loss, senior Pam Borchardt (Watertown, WI), posted a clutch kill that tied it at 24-24, and a ball handling error and a service ace gave Maranatha the 26-24 win.
The Cardinals outlasted the Crusaders in set two after a 10-10 tie, going on a 15-6 run to end with a score of 25-16.
The third set was similar to the first, but with a different outcome, as North Central came away with a 26-24 win. Maranatha kept the set close, posting three-straight points to tie it at 15, then held a 22-20 lead on a bad set by North Central. The Cardinals evened the score at 22, 23 and when the Crusaders had their opponent on the ropes at 24-23, North Central scored three-straight points to win the set.
North Central closed out the match with a 25-21 win in the fourth and final set, taking a 16-9 lead and enduring a late Maranatha rally that cut it to 21-18.
Schulz and freshman opposite hitter Alison Renz (Lake Mills, WI) finished with eight kills apiece
Coach DeLozier stated, “We missed Laci Peterson’s presence, as she was at a wedding, but Lauren stepped up, Ali’s big blocks and Sam played great defense.”
Against Dominican, the Stars led most of set one, with a lead of 15-10 at one point before Maranatha received kills from freshman opposite hitter Alison Renz (Lake Mills, WI) and sophomore hitter Stacy Reinke (Clintonville, WI) for a 15-14 deficit.
Dominican swung the score back to 21-17 in their favor, but committed several errors, allowing Maranatha to creep back to 22-20. After two attack errors by Maranatha in the final three points, Dominican’s Carri Chambers’s added a kill and the Stars held off the Crusaders, 25-20.
Reinke and the Crusaders jumped out to a 6-1 lead in set two, as the sophomore hitter posted two of the team’s six points. The game seemed to be in Maranatha’s favor throughout the set, as the team held a lead up until a kill by Dominican’s Kim Greiner evened the game at 18 apiece.
Reinke and Renz helped boost the score back up to 21-19, but the pesky Stars tied the game at 21-all, and each point was matched by the opponent until Dominican broke a 25-25 tie, with two straight kills to end the set, 27-25.
Maranatha owned a 9-6 lead in the third and final set on a kill by sophomore hitter Kelli Fox (Raleigh, N.C.), but the teams exchanged leads though, tying the game six different times over the next 13 points until Dominican seized a 17-14 advantage, forcing a Maranatha timeout.
Maranatha cut it back to one at 18-17, but the Stars finished on a tear that included a 7-2 run to end the set, with a 25-19 win over the Crusaders.
Reinke finished the match with a team-high seven kills while posting four digs while Renz posted six kills, six digs and four blocks (one solo).
Senior setter Pam Borchardt (Watertown, WI) posted 12 assists, nine digs and two block assists.
The Crusaders look for a win against the host team, Concordia University Chicago, at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.