FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University captured their third home win in a row after a 3-1 victory over Great Plains Athletic Conference opponent Mount Marty University. The win lifts Midland to 7-6 overall and 6-5 in GPAC play while the Lancers fall to 5-15 overall and 0-10 in the league.
Midland hit .316 on the night and held Mount Marty to a .079 hitting efficiency. Tonight’s match marks the fifth match in the past six contests in which Midland had hit above .300. Midland was tough at the net with 10 blocks on the night after recording none in the opening set. The defensive effort continued in the backcourt as the Warriors out dug the Lancers 54-44.
Individually, Midland was led by Taliyah Flores who notched 16 kills and hit .364. Lauryn Samuelson was efficient as ever with 12 kills on 23 swings (.478). Maggie Hiatt was a presence on the pin with 12 kills to go along with three blocks. Hope Leimbach dished out 51 assists to go along with 10 digs. Brooke Fredrickson led the Warriors with 14 digs while Jaisa Russell narrowly trailed with 13.
The opening set was tightly contested before a run by the Warriors saw the home team up 16-9. Midland took advantage of Lancer errors while finding open spots on the court to go up 21-13. A kill from Hiatt brought Midland to set point, and Fredrickson sealed the deal with a shot down the line as Midland took a 25-18 win. The Warriors hit .429 in the set with four Midland players hitting above .400. Samuelson recorded three kills on for swings (.750) while Hiatt put away a team-best five kills.
The momentum carried into the second set as Hiatt and Samuelson recorded Midland’s first block of the evening to win the first point. Midland took a 5-3 edge after a tough serve from Russell forced a Lancer error. The block continued to work for the Warriors after a Hiatt solo block brought Midland’s lead to 10-5. Leimbach would put her attacker in perfect position as a carefully placed shot from Samuelson increased the lead to 14-7. The Warrior defense persisted through the longest rally of the evening as a Lancer hitting error brought the lead to 20-10. Samuelson would register another kill on set point as Midland captured a 25-15 win. Midland had four blocks in the second set.
The Lancers would see an early 6-2 lead after a handful of unforced errors by Midland forced a timeout. A veteran shot from Hiatt went down for a kill to bring the score to 9-6 in favor of Mount Marty. The Warriors would take a 10-9 edge after a no-look kill found by Leimbach found the line. The teams continued to trade points as another Hiatt kill tied things up at 12-12. A kill down the line from Fredrickson gave the Warriors a narrow 16-15 lead before a service error tied things up again. The teams would be tied again at 20-20 before a Lancer kill had the Warriors trailing. A Hiatt kill followed by a Mount Marty error gave Midland the 22-21 edge. Defense at the net game Midland set point, but the Lancers rallied back to take a 26-24 win. The Warriors struggled offensively, hitting .154 for the set compared to .179 by the Lancers.
A Flores kill brought the score to 5-5 before a Lancer error saw Midland leading the set. Fredrickson would get her team a point moments later via a solo block. The Warriors continued to cruise offensively as a line shot from Flores forced a Mount Marty timeout with Midland up 10-6. The score moved to 16-12, Midland ahead after a Fredrickson kill. A perfectly-placed serve from Mackenzie Sempeck resulted in an ace and a 19-13 Warrior lead. Fredrickson would pick up an ace of her own as the score moved to 21-14. Midland rolled to set point before a Lancer error ended the set at 25-16.
“I thought our play tonight was inconsistent, especially in regards to our serving and passing,” said head coach Paul Giesselmann after the match. “We were pretty good offensively except in game three. You have to give Mount Marty credit as they played well in the third game. We will need to play at a higher level Saturday but tonight was a great opportunity for us to get better.”
Midland (7-6, 6-5 GPAC) will be on the road for their next match as the team heads to Orange City, Iowa for a conference matchup with Northwestern College (12-1, 10-1 GPAC) on Saturday. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m.