Morningside’s home court magic wasn’t enough to help the Mustangs defeat nationally ranked Hastings College. Morningside was 5-1 in Allee Gym coming into Saturday’s contest. The 3-1 loss moves Morningside to 12-13 on the season and 6-9 in the GPAC.
The duo kept Morningside and Hastings fans alike on the edge of their seats throughout the night, with scores of 25-20, 25-15, 25-16, and 28-26. Morningside took set two, with the other three going in favor of the Broncos.
Morningside brought a new look into Allee, running a 6-2 offense and adding larger roles for freshmen Sabrina Creason and Kaelyn Giefer. The change came about in the match at Concordia earlier this week.
“We got in a situation where we needed to switch things up a bit, so we finished the match that way,” explained head coach Beth Donnelly. “We practiced a little bit yesterday and really liked it, so we went with it today.”
Morningside was led offensively by Emma Gerber, a junior from Worthington, Minn., with 16 kills. Sophomores Krista Zenk and Caitlin Makovicka contributed 9 and five kills, respectively.
Junior Callie Alberico reached 17 assists in the match, while Creason tacked on 14 more.
On the other side of the ball, the Mustangs shut the Broncos down at the net 9 times. Junior Brittni Olson had two solo blocks while Zenk had one. Freshmen Lauren Rohwer and Kaelyn Giefer, along with Zenk and Gerber, paired off for the remaining six blocks.
Libero Kayla Harris, a freshman from Dakota City, Neb., had 15 digs in the match. Sophomore Ashley Boer had 10 and Merrin Van Velzen, also a sophomore, tallied eight.
“I’m very pleased with the way we played,” reflected Donnelly after the match. “I wish I could get set three back, because we came out of the locker room with a whole lot less urgency than when we went in there. We played a top 15 team in the country, and we played them very tough for four sets. Overall I was impressed, but I think we could still be out there playing.”
Morningside closes out the regular season on Wednesday with a 7:30 p.m. match with the Flames from the College of Saint Mary.