FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University made quick work of College of Saint Mary on Wednesday with a three set sweep, 25-19, 25-22, 25-13. With the victory the Warriors stop a two-game slide and improve their record to 15-5 (6-1 GPAC). The Flames have now dropped five consecutive matches and sit at 8-12 (1-8 GPAC).
“I was disappointed with how we started the match tonight,” stated coach Paul Giesselmann afterwards. “I really thought we’d come out aggressive. Our focus all week had been on limiting the errors and we just didn’t come out tonight and set that tone.”
Midland hit a combined .111 in the first two sets as they had 16 attacking errors as well as four other on the service and receiving part of the game.
Set one saw the Warriors fall behind 3-0 early and then 13-8 before going on a rally. With Jessica Nekl at the service line Midland rattled off 12 straight points to take a 20-13 lead. She had one ace in the span of a dozen unanswered.
Priscilla O’Dowd, who was honored before the match for reaching 1,000 career kills, finished the set with an ace for the 25-19 win.
In the second it was a back and forth battle from the get go. CSM took the first point and would trade tallies with the Warriors all the way to a 10-10 tie. That’s when the Midland rotation lined up with Nekl at the service line again and they scored four straight to take control of the match.
CSM would battle back with couple small rallies to pull within two, 24-22, which forced a Midland timeout. After the quick breather though O’Dowd capped on the second, with a kill this time, as Midland took it 25-22.
“We scored a lot of points for CSM in the early games and that part was disappointing. However, our blocking tonight was much improved. We spent a lot of time working on it lately and we averaged over three blocks per game.”
The third set what were that blocking practice blossomed as Midland had six of their 11 blocks in the final stanza. The first came on after the second serve of the set as O’Dowd hammered down a solo block to put the Warriors up 2-0.
Knobbe would add another block assist for the 12th point. This time teaming upt with Jordan Lempka.
After that it was pretty much all Midland as they would increase their lead to 16-9, forcing a time out by the Flames. Taylor Liesenmeyer and Petersen finished off the sweep with a block as Midland won 25-13.
O’Dowd led the team with 10 kills, a pair of solo blocks and six block assist while Nekl paced the team with 17 digs.
Petersen, who filled in as the primary setter again, had 23 set assists to go along with 10 digs for double-double.
“Anytime you can get a conference sweep in our league it is a great. We’ve got to continue to work on being a low error team and move on to the next one. Hopefully we can get better before we take on Dakota Wesleyan.”
Midland will take on Dakota Wesleyan (14-13, 1-8 GPAC) on Saturday, October 14th in Mitchell, South Dakota.