LINCOLN, IL—The women’s volleyball team would continue their NCCAA National Tournament action with another doubleheader on Friday night, facing off first against the Patriots of Arlington Baptist College (TX), followed by the Eagles of West Coast Baptist Bible College (CA).
Maranatha squared off against the seventh ranked Patriots at 2 p.m. CST, and quickly jumped out to a 12-8 lead. Determined after winning just one set throughout the entire day yesterday, the Crusaders never trailed in the first game against Arlington, winning 25-22.
Set two was much of the same, even though some sloppy play from the Crusaders allowed the Patriots to never trail by more than a couple of points. Despite the mediocre performance, Maranatha won set two 25-23.
The Crusaders would jump out to the early 9-3 lead once again in set three, but Arlington took advantage of a few MBBC errors to gain the 22-19 lead, forcing a Maranatha timeout.
The Crusaders responded strongly after the break, pressing ahead to claim the 27-25 victory. The 3-0 win marked the 23rd victory for the volleyball team this season, and increased their NCCAA conference record to 11-3.
Four hours later, the Crusaders lined up for their last game of the 2013 season, pitted against the Eagles from West Coast Baptist Bible College.
Surging out to the 7-2 lead, Maranatha maintained control throughout the entire first set, allowing everyone to tally minutes en route to a 25-10 victory.
Set two would turn out to be much closer, however, as Maranatha found themselves trailing at 16-19. The Eagles would hold the lead through 22-18, but the Crusaders rallied back with a tremendous effort to win set two, 25-23.
Brimming with confidence, Maranatha bolted ahead to begin set three, claiming the 9-2 lead to force an Eagle timeout. The Crusaders would advance the margin to 17-8, before claiming the victory at 25-13.
After losing both games yesterday, the Crusaders were able to conclude their NCCAA Tournament play with two, well-earned sweeps.
Because of the Crusaders 0-2 start on Thursday, they will not advance to the NCCAA Championship Round on Saturday. These games were the last for the 2013 Maranatha women’s volleyball team, who finished 2-2 at this year’s NCCAA National Tournament.
On the season, senior Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, IL) led the team with over 450 kills on the year, while freshman Alison Renz (Lake Mills, WI) followed with nearly 200 kills on the season. Anchoring the defense was sophomore Samantha Swiatek (Walled Lake, MI) who tallied over 500 digs on the season. Crusader seniors include Peterson, Lauren Schulz (Lake Mills, WI), and Erin Steuerwald (Whitewater, WI), who punctuated their college careers with two NCCAA tournament victories. Schulz finished with over 150 kills and more than 100 blocks, while Steuerwald notched 50 kills and over 40 digs.
Season highlights include achieving a 3-1 record at home, as well as going on three separate six game winning streaks. The Crusaders finish the season at 24-11 overall, with a 12-3 NCCAA conference record.