MILWAUKEE – Today at the Bloechl Center, the Mount Mary University volleyball team hosted their first triangular of the season. Grace Christian University (1-1) and Indiana University Northwest (5-1) joined the Blue Angels for the season opener. Indiana University Northwest came away with wins in both of their matches, while GCU split matches and grabbed a win against the Blue Angels.
MMU lost to the Grace Christian University Tigers 3-0 in the first match of the day. GCU was on the attack early grabbing a 4-0 lead to begin things. After the Tigers inflated the lead to 11-4, Emma Carufel (Fr./St. Francis, Wis.) drilled a shot to the hardwood for the first kill of the season for the Blue Angels.
Carufel again came up big for the Blue Angels after MMU fell behind 15-5. Carufel laced multiple service aces at her turn behind the line and was able to get her team within six points. GCU, however, continued to attack and came away with a 25-15 set win in the first with a match high 13 team kills on 23 total attacks.
With a revitalized spirit in the second set, the Blue Angels came out on the attack themselves. Alessa Nelson (Jr./Rockford, Ill.) took control behind the service line when MMU jumped out to an early 1-4 lead. After the Tigers tied things at 4-4, the Blue Angels again went on a run, this time swelling their lead out to 9-4.
GCU came back and went on a 9-1 run to recapture the lead. Shooting less effectively then the first, the Tigers were able to escape the second set with a 25-14 win on six team kills on 25 total attacks.
In the final set, the Blue Angels again grabbed an early lead. This time MMU was up 5-3, but after another Tiger run of seven points, GCU took the lead which they would not surrender. The 25-10 win for the Tigers came off nine kills on 26 total attacks.
Lauren Harris (Sr./Sheridan, Ill.) led the Blue Angels on offense in game one with four kills on 16 total attacks. Carufel led the team with 11 digs and a pair of service aces.
In the second match of triangular, IUNW swept the Tigers 3-0. GCU made things close in the final frame, but the Red Hawks came through with a close 25-23 final set for the win.
In the final match of the day, IUNW defeated the Blue Angels 3-0, but encountered much resistance after the first set. The Red Hawks made few mistakes of their own in the first set, however. IUNW jumped out in front 7-0. After an attack error from the Red Hawks, Lauren Harris riffled a service ace in attempt to break up the momentum. After a bit of back and forth, the Red Hawks went on a 9-0 run and eventually won the set 25-4.
MMU put up a valiant fight in the second set. After the Blue Angels grabbed an early 4-3 lead, the Red Hawks went on a three-point run to take it back. Then MMU went on the longest run of the day taking an 11-6 lead.
MMU carried the lead until the Red Hawks tied things at 24-24. The Blue Angels were then the first to 25, but IUNW got the last three points of the set to take the 27-25 win.
In the final set of the day, the Blue Angels again grabbed an early lead. The most efficient set of the night for the Blue Angels saw them hit eight team kills on 39 total attacks. Despite the efficiency, the Red Hawks attacked with 13 kills on 39 total attacks. After the teams traded leads five times, IUNW hedged out the set win on a six-point run.
Adrianna Nester (Jr./Anaheim, Calif.) led MMU in the second match with seven kills on 27 total attacks and a pair of service aces. Alessa Nelson helped her team in the second match with a team leading 11 digs.
The Blue Angels return to action Fri. Sept. 7 at 7:00 pm. The Bloechl Center will play host to the match between MMU and Emmaus Bible College. Live stats and video will be made available at MtMaryAthletics.com.