VSN (admin) Published Sunday, November 20, 2022 – 4:00 p.m
FREMONT, Neb.—The No. 3 Midland University, playing on their home court for the last time this season, faced the Indiana Institute of Technology in a game of the NAIA opening round on Saturday afternoon. It was a match of teams of the same name at the Wikert Event Center in which the Warriors of Midland defeated the Warriors of Indiana Tech (25-21, 25-19, 25-19). The win moves Midland to the final venue of the NAIA Women’s Volleyball Championship with a 26-4 record. Indiana Tech’s season ends on a 28-8 mark.
After giving away the first point of the game to Tech, Midland worked his way up to an 11-4 lead in the opening set. Three kills from Abbey Ringler, returning from a two-game absence, marked a run alongside two kills from Addisyn Mosier. Both reached five kills as Midland hit .267 in the opener to win 25-21.
In the second set, Ringler made up for lost time with four more kills before Hope Leimbach’s set. Midland took a 6-1 lead and led wire to wire. Indiana Tech fought back, 18-17 to within a point. Five straight points from MU put them on the brink of winning two sets. A kill by Cortlyn Schaefer and Lauren Williams finished Tech 25-19.
With an adjustment to their rotation at the start of the third, Indiana Tech showed a new spirit on the court. They took an early 3-1 lead and maintained the lead through the first half of the set. Midland trailed 9-6 and went with a 3-0 run to level the set. The teams traded points up to an 18-18 tie before a 7-1 run ended Midland’s ninth trip to Sioux City and the final venue of the national tournament.
Leimbach led Midland to a .327 batting average with 43 assists. She added 8 digs, an ace serve and a kill to her stat line.
Taliyah Flores led the team in kills with 12. Mosier was next at 11 while Ringler graduated at 10.
Midland had 10 blocks defensively at the net. Ringler was involved in four with two solo things while Williams had three. In the back row, Delanie Vallinch had a match high of 12 digs.
“I’m just very proud of our girls. If you’re going in August, the goal is to get to Sioux City,” said head coach Paul Giesselmann. “We played against a really good team today. They were very well prepared and well trained. I didn’t feel like we did our best. Our serve and passing in particular were some of the weaker parts of our game today. Normally these two are our strengths. We’ll be going back in next week and working to get better in those areas in practice. This season is all about winning and progressing. We are happy that we can continue. You could tell by their excitement when we got to match point.”
“Today was the last time Hope and Taliyah were able to play a match in Wikert in front of their fans and families. I told them to take it all in and enjoy it” adds Coach Giesselmann. “Our fans have shown us a lot of love this season and they saw today how much this season means to us. This is a team focused on getting to the final location and they won’t take things for granted.”
Midland (26-4) will learn his pool assignment from the NAIA on Sunday. They will likely be the top seeds in one of the pools, which would correspond to Wednesday 30th November and Friday 2nd December games. The 2022 NAIA National Championship will be held at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Keep an eye out for updates on the Warriors on the Midland Athletics website, www.MidlandAthletics.com, and on social media (@Midland_Sports)
Indiana Tech Midland University Women’s Volleyball Great Plains Athletic Conference Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Scores