SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Morningside opened its home women’s volleyball schedule tonight, welcoming College of Saint Mary to town. The Mustangs, receiving votes in the initial NAIA poll and carrying a 7-1 record, hoped to start the GPAC season off on a high note against the visiting Flames. CSM gave Morningside a fight, defeating M’side in 5 sets, 25-20, 15-25, 15-25, 25-23, and 17-15.
Morningside posted impressive numbers against CSM, topping the Flames in kills, hitting percentage, digs, and blocks, while still managing to come up short on the score board. The Mustangs had 68 kills while hitting .246, had 93 digs, and 11.5 team blocks.
M’side was led in the kills column by Krista Zenk (JR/Le Mars, IA), leading all attackers with 16, followed by Emma Gerber (SR/Worthington, MN), with 15, Kaelyn Giefer (SO/Loveland, CO), with 12 and Brittni Olson (SR/Sioux City, IA), with 10 kills to wrap up the double-digit contributors. Caitlin Makovicka (JR/Ceresco, NE) also came off the bench to add eight kills for the Mustangs. Sabrina Creason (SO/Shawnee Mission, KS) totaled 27 assists, while Callie Alberico (SR/Fort Calhoun, NE) had 21, on the way to Morningside’s total of 57.
“I have to give props to Britt Olson, she had a great match tonight. It’s almost like she found a different level tonight with the aggressiveness.” said coach Beth Donnelly. “Setting her in the middle, she was cutting balls left and right.”
“Caitlin Makovicka comes off the net and she brings so much energy and I think that definitely kept us in some sets,” she added.
On the defensive side of the net, the Mustangs were led by Gerber with two solo blocks and four block assists and Olson with five block assists. Kayla Harris (SO/Dakota City, NE) led all defenders in digs, tallying 34, followed by Ashley Boer (JR/Rock Rapids, IA) and Callie Alberico with 10 each.
“Tonight, I think that we were outsmarted more than outplayed,” analyzed Donnelly. “We played tough, we just did not adjust.”
Morningside takes a now 7-2 record into Friday’s home match against Dakota State, with JV starting at 5:30 p.m. and varsity scheduled for 7:00 p.m.