Midland University came away with a win on Senior Day, defeating Dakota Wesleyan University in four sets on Saturday (25-23, 17-25, 25-15, 25-11). The Warriors improve to 17-9 on the year and 9-6 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. The Tigers fall to 20-10 and 4-10 in the GPAC.
Early on Midland showed the signs of fatigue after playing a five-set the night before against Jamestown but was able to regroup after being down 21-17. They would go on an 8-2 run to close out the set and take control of the match.
The Warriors hit just .057 in the first with 13 kills against 10 errors on 53 attempts. The Tigers had 10 kills with 9 errors on 48 swings to hit .021 from the attack line.
In the second Dakota Wesleyan led virtually wire-to-wire for the win to tie the match heading into the extended set break. Midland was able to force a tie five times during the set, the last coming at 15-15.
The Tigers were had their best set of the day from the attack line in set two as they hit .346, 11 kills and only 2 errors. The Warriors had their worst set as they committed 11 errors while only registering 10 kills to hit a -.027.
After a rejuvenating pep talk in the locker room, Midland came out and played well in sets three and four. In the third they hit for match-high .250 with 16 kills and 4 errors and followed that up with 9 more kills against just 3 errors for a .176 mark from the attack line. Dakota Wesleyan on the other side of the net was only able to get 7 kills in each of the last two sets with 5 errors in the third and a match-high 10 errors. They hit .043 in the third and -.083 in the fourth.
“We got off to a sluggish start in games one and two but I really like how our team came out after the break and really raised their intensity level,” Giesselmann said. “We played more disciplined in games three and four. That’s the level of volleyball we’re capable of playing. When play like that we’re a fun team to watch.”
Sydney Morehouse led the way offensively for Midland with 11 kills, hitting .458 for the match. Maggie Hiatt and Shelby Bretschneider were close behind with 9 and 8 kills respectively.
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Brooke Fredrickson recorded 18 digs defensively and was joined in double figures by Taylor Petersen with 10 and Taliyah Flores with 21. At the net defensively Midland finished with 14 blocks. Maddie Wieseler, Morehouse and Hiatt all had a hand in on six blocks.
Coordinating the Warriors’ offense were Bree Burtwistle and Hope Leimbach. They combined for 39 set assists with Burtwistle registering 21 and Leimbach 18.
“We’ve just got to continue to get better and try to get that level of play the entire match,” Giesselmann said. “It was great ending for senior day. This is an amazing group of young women. I’m proud of what they’ve done for the program, on and off the court. Right now we’ve got to get focused as we prepare for a big match on Wednesday.”
On Friday night, the Jimmies prevailed 24-26, 25-18, 16-25, 25-17, 15-10.
Fredrickson had 16 kills and Bretschneider added 14 for Midland. Wieseler contributed 11 while Morehouse finished with nine.
Leimbach distributed 27 set assists and Burtwistle had 26.
“I thought the girls played some very high-level volleyball tonight. I’m just disappointed that in the end they don’t get rewarded for a great effort,” Giesselmann said. “They played toe-to-toe with the number eight team in the country but the problem is in the fifth game we played a little more timid than Jamestown did and they end up going out and getting the win.
Midland (17-9, 9-6 GPAC) will travel to Sioux Center, Iowa on Wednesday to close out the regular season with a match against Dordt (17-9, 8-6).