FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University volleyball team fell in a five-set thriller to Maranatha Baptist Bible College (14-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-19, 15-9) on Senior Night and regular season home finale at Sadoff Gymnasium. The Sabres took the first and third sets and looked poised to pull off the upset, but the Crusaders stormed back and picked up the road victory.
Marian's dominating first set win appeared the start of a roaring finish to the regular season as it hit .303 as a team. For the match, the Sabres compiled 62 kills, a season-high and a number that hasn't been met since before 2006. Marian put four players in double-digit kills, led by Anna Smit's team-leading 19.
On the other side, Maranatha amazingly had two players with 22 kills or more. League-leading in kills, Torey DeLozier totaled an eye-popping 28, while her teammate Laci Peterson had 22.
Maranatha improved to 19-3 overall, 9-3 in the NAC with the win, while Marian fell to 14-14 (6-6 NAC) with the loss.
The Sabres took it to their counterparts in the first set, leading by double digits most of the way down the stretch. Smit totaled five total kills in the set on nine attacks and held Maranatha to .111 kill percentage on the way to a 25-14 set win.
In the second set, the Crusaders showed why they are the #4 seed in the NAC tournament this year, hitting .270 and responding with a 25-18 second set win to tie the match. DeLozier had nine kills alone in the set win on just 16 attacks.
The Sabres trailed most of the way in the third set, but showed resilience, as they have all year, and wrestled away a 25-23 win despite eight more DeLozier kills, coupled with six more by Peterson. Three Sabres totaled at least three kills in the set, led by Cassandra Klapoetke's five. Reimer tallied seven digs in the set on the way to 21 for the match, recording her first career triple-double after dishing out a career-high 50 assists and adding 10 kills in the match.
The fourth set got away from Marian as Maranatha fought to keep the match alive. The Crusaders hit .351 as a team and held Marian to just .163 hitting. A 25-19 set win tied the match at 2-2 and MBBC carried the momentum into the fifth set.
The Crusaders jumped out to five-point lead early on and used an onslaught of offensive support by the combination of DeLozier and Peterson to complete the comeback. Both combined for 10 kills in the set that played to just 15 points. Peterson recorded six by herself and the Sabres could never climb out of the early hole.
Klapoetke totaled a career-high 13 kills in the match, hitting .478 with just two errors, while the senior Carlie Kinsey tallied 12 kills. Seniors Aileen Maier along with Kinsey and Reimer were honored prior to the match.
Despite the loss, Marian still fights to play another day, claiming a spot in the 2012 NAC tournament. They will have to wait until tomorrow to see if they will earn the sixth seed and play Dominican or instead settle for the #7 seed and play Benedictine in the tournament that begins next Tuesday, Oct. 30.