FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University won both of their matches on Saturday as they hosted they final day of the Nebraska Strong Warrior Invitational. The No. 8-ranked Lady Warriors swept past St. Ambrose University (25-17, 25-23, 25-11) in the morning and then won a challenging four-set match against Briar Cliff University (25-20, 25-22, 23-25, 25-16) in the evening finale. Other games at the invite saw No. 3 Grand View edge Briar Cliff in five sets and then GVU swept past the pesky Bees of St. Ambrose in the afternoon.
Midland saw bits of improvement from their opening night during each of their games on Saturday. In the early game against the Bees, the Warriors held their opponents to a -.029 hitting percentage while hitting .142 themselves.
The play of Sydney Morehouse really set the tone for the day as she had a team-high 11 kills and a hitting mark of .292 from her middle position. The junior from Papillion, Nebraska has taken on more of a leadership role along with fellow junior middle Maggie Hiatt.
In the second game Hiatt put on a display as she teamed up with freshman setter Hope Leimbach to floor a career-high 25 kills while hitting .455 for the match. She add three digs while on the front row and two blocks at the net.
“Maggie and Sydney I thought had a pretty good tournament overall,” said head coach Paul Giesselmann after the final match. “They are doing some good things. Maggie still learning to play the middle position and she was almost unstoppable in tonight’s match. I also thought our setters did a much better job against Briar Cliff running the offense. They showed some nervousness during the first two matches, especially against Grand View, but ran the offense much better against Briar Cliff.”
Freshman Bree Burtwistle not only made her presence known in the offense but also at the serving stripe. In the BCU game she had seven service aces in addition to her 14 set assists. Leimbach finished with 34 assists in that match.
Coach Giesselmann also commented on the play of senior Taylor Petersen. “She played a better match today against Briar Cliff. Even though her hitting percentage doesn’t reflect it. She had three blocks and did some good things from that stand point.”
“We’ll take the 2-1. Come Monday though we’ll get back in the gym and work on getting better. That’s the thing right now, we’re really young and really inconsistent but I do think this team could be a decent team come November.”
Midland will be back in action on Wednesday, August 21st inside Wikert Event Center once again. They’ll host Peru State in front of what likely will be a packed crowd as the fall semester begins the next day and nearly all the students will be back in town and on campus. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m. in Fremont.