Nationally ranked Morningside made it nine wins in its last 10 matches when it swept Mount Marty 25-20, 25-12, 25-9 in Wednesday’s GPAC volleyball match in Yankton, S.D.
The Mustangs, ranked 21st in the NAIA, improved their record to 16-8 and climbed to 8-3 in the GPAC standings. The loss dropped Mount Marty to 8-12 overall and 1-9 in the GPAC.
Morningside displayed one of its best attacks of the season with a .375 hitting percentage compared to a dismal .032 hitting display by the Lancers.
Jenn Buyert paced a balanced Mustang attack with a match-high 10 kills. Emma Gerber and Jayde Bergmann were right behind with eight kills, followed by Brittni Olson with seven and Krista Zenk with six. Gerber needed just nine attempts to produce her eight kills and led the winners with a .778 hitting percentage.
Mustang setters Callie Alberico and Brittany Fleming helped the Mustangs’ attack go with 21 and 10 assists, respectively.
Nikki Oberfoell led the defensive effort with14 digs. Alberico, Fleming and Morgan Gourley each had six digs.
Fleming had two of the Mustangs’ three ace serves.
Morningside had to rally from an early 6-1 deficit to win the first set. Trailing 11-8, the Mustangs reeled off four straight points with a kill from Gerber, a kill and stuff block from Buyert and a kill by Olson to take their first lead at 12-11. The Mustangs took a 17-15 lead on a setter dump from Alberico and opened an insurmountable five-point advantage when a kill by Zenk made it 20-15.
The Mustangs attacked at an impressive .462 clip when they cruised to a 25-12 triumph in the second set. Leading 18-12, the Mustangs finished the Lancers off with a seven-point service run from freshman Bryanna Pulling. Pulling had an ace serve during the run, which also featured a kill from Olson and two kills each from Zenk and Bergmann, who supplied the set winner.
Morningside’s attack reached its zenith in the third set when the Mustangs had a .500 hitting percentage with 14 kills and only one error in 26 attempts. Bergmann supplied six of the kills, including the match winner. She played a role in five consecutive Mustang points with three kills, a solo block and a block assist along with Gerber when the guests turned a slim 3-2 lead into an 8-2 advantage.
The Mustangs will return to action with a 7:30 p.m. home match against seventh-ranked Dordt on Tuesday, Oct. 17.