FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University made quick work of Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) foe, College of Saint Mary, on Tuesday night inside Wikert Event Center. The Warriors came out swinging and cruised to a sweep with scores of 25-16, 25-19, and 25-14.
The win is the second in a row for Midland and lifts the team to 4-5 overall with a 3-4 GPAC record. College of Saint Mary falls to 7-3 overall and 2-3 in the league.
Midland hit a season-best .430 on the night (45-8-86) while holding CSM to .038. The Warriors had a narrow 33-29 edge in digs. Defensively at the net, the Flames out-blocked the Warriors 6-5.
Sophomore setter Hope Leimbach had plenty of offensive weapons to work with as four players recorded nine kills on the night. Leimbach racked up 41 assists to go along with five digs and one kill. Senior Sydney Morehouse was the team’s leader in efficiency as she put away nine kills on 13 swings (.692). Junior Brooke Fredrickson wasn’t far behind with nine kills on 16 attempts and only one error (.500). Senior Jaisa Russell anchored the backcourt with 11 digs and was a solid presence on serve-receive.
Midland jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the opening set with a run featuring kills from five individual Warriors. The Warriors continued to extend the lead after several CSM errors gave Midland a 16-7 edge. Lauryn Samuelson found her groove as a kill, followed by a block that brought the score to 18-7. The Flames were completely out of sorts and continued to struggle offensively down the stretch as Midland went up 23-13. CSM would enjoy a small run at the end of the set, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Warriors ran away with the 25-16 win.
Roles were reversed in the second set as a handful of Warrior errors had the Flames up 10-5. Midland got the ball back courtesy of a service error and then managed to cut the deficit to 11-10. CSM would attempt to hold on to the lead, but an attacking error would give Midland their first lead of the set at 13-12. The lead would hold and grew bigger as a solo block from Sydney Morehouse brought the score to 19-15. Kills from Maggie Hiatt and Brooke Fredrickson closed out the set by a score of 25-19.
A smart shot from Fredrickson saw Midland up 8-5 in the third set before a service error gave the ball back to the Flames. It would be Flores who pushed the Warriors to a 10-7 lead as a savvy shot drew an opposing blocker into the net. The Warriors continued to use the block as a Fredrickson swing found the floor for a 13-8 edge. A dime of a pass from Fredrickson moments later allowed for a sneaky attack from Flores to bring the lead to 15-9. Pristine serve-receive allowed Leimbach to coordinate a balanced attack as a kill from Hiatt saw the score at 18-9. The Warriors continued to cruise and earned match point by way of a Morehouse solo block.
“I thought our offensive efficiency tonight was really good,” said head coach Paul Giesselmann post-match. “It was nice to see us come out in game one and get off to a good start. We only had one hitting error in that game. In game two I was a little disappointed in some of the errors, both hitting and serving. We were able to regroup in game three and did a great job. It’s the first time all season where we didn’t have a single hitting error, and end up hitting .655 that game.”
“CSM got us twice last year so it was nice to get the first one. Now we’ve got to have a couple of days of great practice before we head up to Jamestown to play one of the best teams in the country.”
Midland (4-5, 3-4 GPAC) hits the road for their next conference matchup as the team travels to take on the University of Jamestown on Saturday. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m. in Jamestown, North Dakota. The Jimmies currently lead the GPAC with an unblemished 6-0 conference record.