MADISON, Wis. — The Crusaders held their own against Edgewood College, but in the end were eliminated by the #1 seeded team in the semifinals of the NAC Tournament on Thursday evening.
Maranatha shook off the rust in set one after facing deficits of seven and six, putting together a 7-3 run on kills by hitters Torey DeLozier (Watertown, Wis.) and Kelli Fox (Matthews, N.C.), and coming to within one at 23-22.
Edgewood’s Jessica Martin (Elkhorn, Wis.) and Mallory Palmer (Poynette, Wis.) put a stop to the Crusaders’ momentum with two straight kills for the 25-23 win.
Maranatha rebounded in set two with a 5-1 lead before Edgewood tied it at seven, and built a 17-14 lead. Junior blocker Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, Ill.) score the team’s next four points to tie the game at 18, but Edgewood put Maranatha on the brink of a 2-0 hole with a 24-22 lead.
Two Edgewood errors tied the match at 24, and a Peterson kill, combined with a DeLozier ace, put the finishing touches on a 26-24 comeback.
Maranatha found themselves down 15-11 in set three and never recovered, falling 25-19. In the final set, DeLozier pushed the team to a 23-23 tie after being down 9-4 early, but NAC Player of the Year, Mallory Palmer, delivered the dagger for the 25-23 win.
DeLozier led all players from both teams with 32 kills. She finished with a .313 hitting percentage, and had 15 digs and two blocks.
Peterson followed up with 16 kills and five block assists. Senior libero Hallie Sheley (Watertown, Wis.) finished with 22 digs, while freshman setter Emily Thompson (Watertown, Wis.), and senior Erin Jochum (Watertown, Wis.) finished with 25 and 20 digs respectively.
Maranatha finishes the season at 19-4, and 9-4 in the NAC. Maranatha gears up for the NCCAAII National Tournament on November 8-10 in Kissimmee, Fla.
Maranatha will face #10 seed West Coast Baptist at 12:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 8.