SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Going on the road for one of the final times during the regular season, No. 12 Midland University was able go into hostile territory and come away with the win at Morningside College on Wednesday night.
Midland looked like the veteran team they are in the opening set as they won the opener 25-18. They forced the young Morningside squad that features no seniors and only a few juniors into 11 errors.
The young Mustangs would settle down in the second though as they battled back from to force the set into extra points and evened the match with a 31-29 win. They limited their miscues in the second with just five errors while registering 18 kills and hitting a match best .271. Midland had 19 kills in the set but was saddled with 11 errors. Typically if they Warriors can keep limit their errors to under eight in a set, they come away with the win.
They did just that in the third as they had just five mistakes in their 25-22 win to regain control of the match. Midland hit .260 in the set while Morningside had an attack percentage of .238.
In fourth set Morningside hat the upper hand early, building a 17-12 lead, forcing Midland to burn one of their timeouts as they broke the 11-11 tie and went on a 6-1 rally. The Warriors would use their final timeout at that juncture and broke the streak with a kill by Priscilla O’Dowd. O’Dowd would move to the back and led an assault on the Mustangs with her aggressive serving while the Midland defense held strong. They would climb back to even with the home them and then took the lead as they rattled off seven straight points, forcing a final timeout from Morningside.
The timeout stemmed the tide but the Warriors were able to hold on to the momentum and earn the set 25-21 and the match 3-1.
Defensively the Warriors were strong at the net with 13 blocks on the night. O’Dowd led the team with 10 block assists. Four players reached double-digit digs on the night with Jaisa Russell netting 16 and Jessica Peters 14 while Brooke Fredrickson and Mackenzie Wecker each had 13.
On the attack it was Peters setting up her teammates with and even 50 set assists. Three Warriors reached double figures with Maggie Hiatt flooring 10 balls, Taylor Petersen adding 12 and Jenny Bair having the high water mark with 19 kills.
“It was a grind tonight,” head coach Paul Giesselmann said right after the match. “We expected it to be this type of match. Morningside is a tough place to play. They’ve shown they’re really good at home.”
“Early on we were doing some good things, minus some serving errors but I was disappointed how we let game two slip away. I really liked how we battled on the road for a tough conference win. After struggling Saturday with our serving and passing, I thought we did a good job with both tonight. Our outsides really had a nice outing tonight.”
With three games left in the regular season, each game is crucial for the Warriors as they look to lock up the second seed for the Great Plains Athletic Conference postseason tournament behind likely top-seed Dordt.
Midland (19-4, 11-2 GPAC) will have a week to prepare for their next match when they host College of Saint Mary (13-14, 3-9 GPAC) on Wednesday, October 23. That game will be senior night and the Warriors will honor their seven seniors before 7:30 p.m. match.