SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Morningside took to the court on Wednesday, Nov. 28, with a renewed sense of confidence having given No. 2 in the Nation Park University a scare the night before. The target of this confidence? Westmont College of California. The Mustangs spent the night trading blows with the Westmont Warriors, but came up just short of the win, 25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 22-25, and 9-15.
“I’m mad at myself,” started Head Coach Beth Donnelly. I started the wrong rotation in set five. Gerber had a hot hand, and I went back to my habit of starting in one, and it put her on the bench for far too long.”
Emma Gerber (JR/Worthington, MN) led the Mustangs offensively, but was farthest from the only contributor for Morningside. Gerber collected 18 kills on the night, followed by Krista Zenk (SO/Le Mars, IA) with 16 and Brittni Olson (JR/Sioux City, IA) wrapping up the double digit contributions with 13.
“I thought we played really well,” analyzed Donnelly. “There are still those runs of points, set 2 and set 4, where we get stuck in a rotation, and then we start second guessing everything we’re doing.”
Donnelly described the attitude coming off of the Mustangs’ Tuesday night surge and coming into Day 2 of pool play.
“The first thing Callie, our captain, said was ‘If we would have started with the intensity that we finished with, we could still be playing right now’ and she was absolutely right. That was our goal for tonight, to come out the way we finished last night and just keep the ball rolling. And we did. We came out swinging hard. We were following and executing the scouting report to a T. I was so proud of them.”
Callie Alberico (JR/Fort Calhoun, NE), the Mustangs’ setter, tallied 49 assists and 15 digs in the five set showdown.
Morningside’s libero, Kayla Harris (FR/Dakota City, NE), picked up 28 digs, with all but two of the players that saw the floor contributing in that column.
The Mustangs take a 13-16 record into the Nov. 29 pool play finale with Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University of Arizona. The match is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m.