MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University women's volleyball team dropped its first two matches to Central and Simpson to start the NACC-IIAC Crossover Challenge hosted by Wisconsin Lutheran College, today, Sept. 26.
The Sabres (4-11) took a set from each opponent on day one, but were unable to gain enough momentum to pull off an upset over either team sitting above .500 at the end of the day.
Marian stole the second set away from Central (11-6) with an exciting 27-25 win, but the Dutch stormed back with back-to-back set victories to close it out, hitting over .250 for the match in the process.
Jessica Roberts was the lone Sabres with double-digit kills, totaling 10 in the match on 28 swings. Amber Baker dished out 21 assists and dug out 17 balls, while Megan De Guelle an Catelyn Brehm each finished with 13 digs apiece.
The Dutch registered two sets in which they hit .321 or higher, including the first set with a .379 clip, tallying 16 kills on 29 attempts en route to a 25-10 set win.
Marian showed great resilience, coming back to take the second set by two, but Central was too strong in the end, holding the Sabres to negative hitting percentages in the first and third sets en route to the match victory.
The Dutch used a balanced attack as 17 players saw action. Jessica Laflin and Emily McDonald led the way with 11 and 10 kills apiece, respectively. Claire Stewart handed out 24 assists, but split time with Jill Schlidroth, who totaled 20. Three Dutch finished in double figures for digs.
Against Simpson (8-6), the Sabres won the third set after falling behind 2-0, but the Storm won the final set 25-15 to settle the four-set win.
Marian found a little rhythm on the offensive end, putting two players in double figures with Roberts leading the way with 14 kills, followed by Emily Drier's 13-kill, 18-dig effort. Baker totaled 36 assists in the loss.
Simpson jumped out early, taking the first two sets, but needing to squeak out a 25-23 second set win. The Sabres put together a nice win in the third set, taking it 25-21 behind a .241 hitting percentage, but it was all Simpson in the fourth set to seal the win.
Tabitha Blaser led three Storm in double figures with 12 kills, while Katie Kieffer dished out a match-high 41 assists. Three Simpson players registered double-digit digs, led by Kayla Aronow's 15.
The Sabres will be back in action for the final day of the challenge tomorrow, Sept. 27, taking on Iowa Conference foes, Dubuque (10 a.m.) and Buena Vista (2 p.m.).