SIOUX CITY, IOWA – An upset, continuing its recent momentum, and extending a four-game winning streak at home was all on the table when Morningside Women’s Volleyball squared off with the Jimmies from the University of Jamestown Saturday, Oct. 19.
While the Mustangs weren’t able to check any of those boxes in just their third straight-set loss this season, they did find a silver lining in Brittni Olson (SR/Sioux City, IA) (SR/Sioux City, IA), one of the members of this year’s senior class, reaching a milestone 1,000 career kills. Morningside’s record slips to 14-8 and 6-6 in the GPAC following the 25-16, 25-20, 25-21 loss. Out of the gate, it seemed that Morningside might give the No. 11 Jimmies a run for their money. That is, until the score read 8-6 in favor of the visitors. Before long, it would be 12-7, then 19-14. Jamestown would then reach 20 points first, then 25, while Morningside stalled out at 16.
Set two was more of the same for Morningside, falling behind early then fighting back to take a lead of 13-11 in a set that would see six ties between the two teams. The Jimmies took the lead for good following an 18-18 tie.
Set three was highlighted by Olson reaching her career milestone, sitting as the 13th Morningsider on record to reach 1,000 kills. The Mustangs held a small lead early in the set before Jamestown went on a run to take the lead. Morningside would stay within a few points for the middle portion of the match but saw the Jimmies take a 24-17 lead. The Mustangs made their equivalent of a goal-line stand, running the score to 24-20 before Jamestown was able to claim the final point.
Notable Mustangs on the scoresheet include Emma Gerber (SR/Worthington, MN) with a team-leading 13 kills and .423 kill percentage. Krista Zenk (JR/Le Mars, IA) had 10 kills while hitting .400, and Olson had six kills, good for the previously mentioned milestone.
Callie Alberico (SR/Fort Calhoun, NE) totaled 27 of the Mustangs’ 36 assists in the match. Sabrina Creason (SO/Shawnee Mission, KS) collected five before coach Beth Donnelly switched to a 5-1 offense to try to generate additional opportunities for Morningside’s hitters.
“Jamestown had our number. They did everything that we knew they would. The problem was that we just didn’t answer,” said Donnelly.
Morningside’s always steady back row, had 54 digs, its third-lowest total this season. Libero Kayla Harris (SO/Dakota City, NE) collected 13 while Callie Alberico and Ashley Boer (JR/Rock Rapids, IA) had nine each.
Possibly most noticeably quiet today was the Mustangs’ blocking front, totaling just 6.5 blocks as a team in the match.
“Jamestown’s middles are phenomenal,” Donnelly continued. “They’re very efficient. They hesitate just enough to let the block set up and they can carve around them. No matter how much we told our defense to stay to the line, we were struggling to stay wide.”
The blocking presence that Morningside did have was largely due to seniors Gerber and Olson. Gerber had the Mustangs’ lone solo block and two assists while Olson had three block assists. Caitlin Makovicka (JR/Ceresco, NE) also had two block assists.
“I think, honestly, the only thing I was disappointed about in tonight’s match is that we got out-worked. Jamestown is one of those teams that’s going to play tremendous defense and our goal at the beginning of this match was to not get outworked. We just did not do enough to make that happen,” reflected Donnelly.
Morningside is back in action on Wednesday night when the Mustangs travel to Dordt University for a 6:00 p.m. JV and 7:30 p.m. varsity contest.