ST. LOUIS, Mo. – No. 8 Midland University came up short in their finale at the Spartan Invitational on Saturday as they fell to host-school No. 4 Missouri Baptist in straight sets (25-19, 25-19, 25-18). The Warrior complete their weekend trip to St. Louis, Missouri with a 1-2 record and are now 8-3 on the season.
In the opening set the Warriors and Spartans went back and forth nearly throughout with neither team holding more than a two or three point cushion. They were tied 10 times, the last coming at 18-18, before Missouri Baptist closed out the set to take control of the match.
They would use that momentum in the second set as they led virtually wire to wire after falling behind on the first point of the set. Midland would tie the home team just once, 7-7, as they fell behind two sets to none.
During the set break before the third the Warriors were able to regroup some as they would jump out to a quick 4-1 lead. That brief lead though evaporated just a quickly with the Spartans going on a 4-1 run of their own and never looked back.
“We had stretches today where we played very well. We just need to learn how to sustain that level of play,” said head coach Paul Giesselmann after the match. “We would have like to come home with two wins, but overall it was a great tournament for our young team to show us where we need to get to as a team.”
For the match Midland hit .141 on the attack while Missouri Baptist hit at a .303 percentage. The Warriors were plagued by just 16 hitting errors while being stuffed at the net 6 times by the Spartans block. On the flipside, MBU had 12 errors and were stopped by the Warriors 7 times at the net.
Leading the way for Midland were Maddie Wieseler, Maggie Hiatt, and Sydney Morehouse who all had six kills apiece. Hiatt added two solo blocks as well as two block assists at the net. Hope Leimbach had 14 set assists while Bree Burtwistle finished with 11.
Defensively, Taliyah Flores paced the Warriors with 18 digs from her libero position. Brooke Fredrickson added seven.
Midland (8-3) will turn their attention to conference play now. They’ll begin play in the Great Plains Athletic Conference this upcoming Wednesday, September 4th when they host Doane (5-3). First serve inside the Wikert Event Center in Fremont, Nebraska is set for 7:30 p.m.