WATERTOWN, WI – It was a historic night in Wisconsin, as the Lady Eagles defeated hosts Maranatha Baptist University 3-1. The win marked the first time an Emmaus team has defeated the Sabercats, who are the current defending NCCAA DII National Champions.
The Lady Eagles came into the match well prepared for the raucous gym atmosphere as it was the Sabercat's home opener, and the two teams started the match with even play. Emmaus sealed the first set 25-21, holding Maranatha to .000 on attack while hitting .128 for the set. Set two was a reversal however, as the Sabercats mustered 11 kills and Emmaus was the team with a .000 on percentage, resulting in a 22-25 loss.
Set three went down to the wire, with the Lady Eagles narrowly escaping with a 25-23 win despite 15 kills in the set. Set four was back and forth at the beginning, but Emmaus pulled away to seal the match with their highest team attack of the evening (.250) and a score of 25-16.
Paige Sweeney had a monster game, hitting .438 with 16 kills, 6 blocks, and 4 aces. Paulina Velderrain had 11 kills, while Alli Howard contributed 6. Hannah Postma dished up 36 assists and had 5 blocks, and Savannah Petersen had 23 digs.
"Maranatha is a tough team, and this was a close match all the way through. I thought both teams played well, and I always appreciate the kindness and testimony of the Maranatha players and staff," commented Coach Pitman. "Coach Richter and I are very proud of our team for being patient and resilient tonight. We have a group that is confident not just in their play, but confident in each other, which is something we hope to continue. While this is a big win for our program, we are still taking the long view of the season – there is still a lot of work to be done down the stretch. We will enjoy the win tonight, but then turn our sights to the next steps in the season tomorrow."
The Lady Eagles finish this week with a scrimmage against local NCAA DIII opponent Loras College, and then have well deserved weekend off. Emmaus is back in action at home next Tuesday (September 18th), as they host Faith Baptist Bible College (Ankeny, IA). First serve is at 6:00 pm in the Pollard Fieldhouse.