MILWAUKEE – Today at the Bloechl Center, the visiting Finlandia University Lions defeated the Mount Mary University volleyball team in close five-set match. After the hard fought contest, the Lions move to 4-12 on the season with the Blue Angels now sitting at 1-9.
The battle began with the Lions jumping out to an early 5-0 lead, then the Blue Angels rattled off five straight points of their own to tie things up. After the Lions came back with three more points, MMU tied it again with three straight scores.
After trading scores in the first, MMU finally grabbed a 13-11 lead. Then the Lions scored a set high 12 straight points to grab the 22-13 lead on their way to the 25-15 winning set.
The point-trading began the second set as well. This time, the Blue Angels started as the benefactors. After a 7-3 run by MMU, the Blue Angels were running away with the set, when the Lions came roaring right back. Nipping away at the lead consistently throughout the set, the Lions tied things at 25-25.
Then tied at 27-27, Lauren Harris (Sr./Sheridan, Ill.) drilled a shot set from teammate Alessa Nelson (Rockford, Ill.) to take the slight lead. On the next play, the Lions hammered a strong shot to the Blue Angel side, but Harris quickly got up to the net and sent the shot back to the opposition's floor to take the second set.
In the third set, the Blue Angels took the early lead with 10 team kills on their 50 attacks. MMU quickly jumped to a 24-17 lead, when the Lions scored five uncontested points in a row. The Blue Angels again were able to end the set on a defensive play when Emma Carufel (Fr./St. Francis, Wis.) and Alexis Levenhagen (Fr./Menomonee Falls, Wis.) joined forces for block assist that put MMU up 2-1 in the match.
The Lions took control in the fourth set, and never surrendered the lead. Hitting 13 team kills on 26 total attacks and just two team errors, the Lions accuracy led them to the 25-10 winning set forcing things to the fifth set tie-breaker; the first fifth set of the season for MMU.
In the final frame of the night, the Lions took the early lead, and after early ties at 1-1 and 2-2, Finlandia was able to jump in front and use their hitting accuracy to grab the 15-8 winning set and the match.
Harris led the Blue Angels offense with 12 kills on 53 attacks. Teammate Alessa Nelson led her squad with 21 assists and four service aces.
Carufel added nine kills on 29 attacks with four total blocks. Adrianna Nester (Jr./Anaheim, Calif.) helped out the Blue Angels with eight kills and a team leading 27 digs.
Following today's match, the Blue Angels will return to action Thu. Oct. 4 when they head to Faith Baptist Bible College. Live stats for the 8:00 pm contest will be available at MtMaryAthletics.com.