BELLEVUE, NEB. – Morningside Women’s Volleyball faced its toughest competition to date in their opening match of the GoSarpy.com Labor Day Classic in the form of Rocky Mountain College. The Mustangs defeated the no. 13 Battlin’ Bears 3-0 by margins of 25-20, 27-25, and 25-11 before defeating Lourdes University in three sets, 25-14, 25-22, and 25-19.
Morningside’s opening match saw impressive numbers across the board. As a team, the Mustangs totaled 52 kills, 52 assists, 72 digs, and six blocks. Individually, Morningside’s attack was led by Krista Zenk (JR/Le Mars, IA), with 17, Brittni Olson (SR/Sioux City, IA), with 12, and Emma Gerber (SR/Worthington, MN), with 11 kills, hitting .372, .379, and .381, respectively. Callie Alberico (SR/Fort Calhoun, NE) doled out 39 of the team’s assists.
Defensively, Kayla Harris (SO/Dakota City, NE) (17), Ashley Boer (JR/Rock Rapids, IA) (16), Zenk (11), and Alberico (11) each turned in double digit dig efforts in the match and Gerber served as a thorn in Rocky Mountain’s side, assisting on all six of Morningside’s blocks.
In the nightcap, the Mustangs again kept the pressure on their opponents, having just eight attack errors and hitting for a .314 percentage on the way to 41 kills. The team had 10 blocks, while the back row tallied 56 digs.
The trio of Zenk, Gerber, and Olson again led in the kills column, with nine for Zenk and Gerber and 8 for Olson. Courtney Baruth (FR/Sioux Falls, S.D.) had six kills, and Kaelyn Giefer (SO/Loveland, CO) had five. Gerber, Olson, and Giefer all had above .400 hitting marks, while Caitlin Makovicka (JR/Ceresco, NE) went one-for-two for a .500 percentage. Alberico had 29 assists in the match.
Harris again led the back row with 18 digs, followed by Merrin Van Velzen (JR/Sergeant Bluff, IA) with eight, Alberico with seven, Zenk with six, and Boer with five. Gerber had the Mustangs’ lone solo block at the net, also leading the block assists race with five. Baruth had four.
Morningside carries their 6-0 record into Saturday’s matches against no. 23 Westmont and the College of the Ozarks, scheduled for 11:00 a.m and 3:00 p.m.