Jeff Braun, Assistant Athletic Director
CRETE – Midland University made quick work of Doane University in a Great Plains Athletic Conference road contest on Tuesday night with a 25-15, 25-20, 25-11 sweep. Midland improves to 8-7 on the year and 7-6 in the GPAC while Doane drops to 4-12 overall and 2-12 in the league.
Midland hit for a .309 efficiency on the night while holding Doane to a .038 hitting percentage. The Warriors were aggressive from the service line which led to six aces compared to just one for the opposition. Midland out-dug Doane 51-42 while both teams collected six blocks.
Senior Sydney Morehouse paced the team with 11 kills and a .391 hitting percentage. Senior Maggie Hiatt followed with 10 kills. Junior Brooke Fredrickson and sophomore Taliyah Flores each put away nine kills while hitting .300 and .350, respectively. Sophomore Hope Leimbach dished out 39 assists to go along with six digs and a season-high four blocks. Flores led the team with 16 digs while senior Jaisa Russellcame away with 12.
The Warriors were down early in the set, but Midland would enjoy a 6-2 run to go up 7-5 off a kill from Morehouse. Blocking was solid from the start, and Leimbach and Lauryn Samuelson combined to give Midland the 14-9 edge. Doane attempted to stop the bleeding by taking a timeout, but Samuelson dropped in a kill to extend the lead to 15-9. Hiatt racked up back-to-back kills to bring the lead to 18-11. Morehouse’s fourth kill of the set forced another Doane timeout with Midland ahead 22-13. Flores dropped in an ace to give Midland set point, and a kill out of the middle gave Midland the 25-15 win.
Doane jumped out to a 5-2 lead before a pair of Midland kills and a setting error on Doane knotted the score. Midland’s first lead of the set came at 7-6 via a Morehouse kill. Leimbach found space on the other side of the net for her first kill of the night, give her team the 11-7 edge and forcing a timeout. Midland continued to take advantage of Doane errors as the lead extended to 16-8. The Tigers would come roaring back with four straight points to bring the score to 17-14. Midland put their own run together to bring the lead to 21-14. Midland found the two-set lead after a Hiatt kill brought the score to 25-20.
The Tigers saw a lead to open the third set in part to Midland errors. Doane errors and a pair of service aces from Russell gave Midland the 8-4 edge. More passing troubles plagued the Tigers ace tough serving brought the Midland lead to 14-7. Kills from Samuelson and Hiatt extended the lead to 18-8. Megan Aultz found space between the block for her first kill of the night as the lead grew to 22-9. Doane committed a hitting error to bring the Warriors to match point and another error gave Midland the commanding 25-11 win.
“I was really happy with our team’s effort tonight,” head coach Paul Giesselmann said. “I thought we played at a high-level consistently and for the most part, we were low-error. Our serving and passing were much better than from the first time we played Doane. Over the last month, our team has really improved and I’m proud of the girls for sticking to it through the difficult times.
Midland (8-7, 7-6 GPAC) will be back in action on Friday as they head to Omaha to face conference foe College of Saint Mary. First serve is slated for 7:30 p.m. Midland swept the first meeting between the two teams (Oct. 13) by scores of 25-16, 25-19, and 25-14.