ROCKFORD, Ill. – In the first day of the two-day Rockford Invitational, the Mount Mary University volleyball team lost both matches. The Lawrence Vikings (2-10) won the first match against the Blue Angels 3-0, then rival Maranatha Baptist defeated the Blue Angels 3-0.
The Blue Angels came out the aggressors in game one of the Rockford Invite. After going up 5-4, MMU continued to attack and took an 11-8 lead. The two teams continued to trade points while the Blue Angels collected their most potent offensive set of the evening with 12 team kills.
The Vikings also attacked accurately in the opening frame. As a team Lawrence landed 10 team kills with five errors. With a tie 21-21 set, the Vikings scored the final four points of the set to take the early 1-0 lead in the match.
After falling behind 10-4 in the second set, the Blue Angels quickly recoup and put together a few runs of their own. Midway through the set, the Blue Angels cut that deficit to three with the score 16-13. The Vikings continued to apply pressure on offense and came through with a match high 14 team kills in the set. The Blue Angels would continue to chip away, but Lawrence continued to hit accurately and took the set 25-17.
In set three of the opening match, the Blue Angels responded with each Lawrence point scored with a point for MMU. The two teams continued to trade the lead early on and found the score 8-8. Following that, the Vikings went on an 8-2 run. After the Blue Angels silenced the late run, Lawrence added another 9-0 run to take the set 25-10 and the match-win.
Jacklyn Mozdzen (So./Wautoma, Wis.) led the Blue Angels offense in the opening match with six kills. Adrianna Nester (Sr./Anaheim, Calif.) added five kills to her team's totals. Brianna Ecker (Fr./Fond du Lac, Wis.) got the MMU offense going with a team high 11 assists.
In the night's second match for the Blue Angels, MMU took on longtime rival Maranatha Baptist. The Blue Angels grabbed an early lead as they attacked with an effective service line. Newcomer Megan Johnson (Jr./Waukesha, Wis.) got the squad sparked with a service ace before they took a 7-4 lead.
The Sabercats came right back with an 11-2 run that gave MBU the 15-9 lead. MBU fired 14 team kills in the set and finished ahead 25-19.
In their biggest offensive set of the night, the Sabercats took an early 6-1 lead in the second set. But MMU fought back with a long run of their own. With Aislinn Strusz (So./Aurora, Ill.) at the service line, the Blue Angel came back to take a 7-6 lead. MBU replied and recaptured the lead as they struck 15 team kills in the set.
After the Blue Angels tied the score 14-14, the Vikings sparked an 11-2 run that ended the set 25-16.
MMU again took the lead in the next set. The Blue Angels were up 4-0 until the Vikings started a 7-point rally to take the lead once more. MBU hit with their most efficient set of the evening and went on to take the final set 25-14.
Ecker led the offense for MMU in the final match with seven kills on her 20 total attacks. Ecker also landed a team high four service aces. Teammate Alessa Nelson (Sr./Rockford, Ill.) impressed the hometown crowd with a team high six assists and 15 digs.
After today, the Blue Angels will return to the Rockford Invitational for a pair of matches tomorrow, Sat. Sept. 14. The match begins at 10:00 pm, with live links to stats available at MtMaryAthletics.com.
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