HASTINGS, Neb. – No. 11 Midland University was unable to pull off the upset over No. 3 Hastings College in the GPAC Volleyball Semifinals. The Warriors fell in three sets to the defending NAIA National Champions, 25-23, 25-20, 25-15. With the loss Midland falls to 19-9 while Hastings improves to 24-2.
“We really needed to get that first set,” stated head coach Paul Giesselmann after the match. “The challenge whey you’re playing a team as talented as Hastings is that any little mistake you make they are going to take advantage of. In the second set we dug ourselves a hole and were unable to overcome that deficit. Give credit to Hastings. Tonight they showed why they are a top five ranked team and a contender to win the national title this year.”
The Broncos limited the Warrior’s attack as Priscilla O’Dowd, the reigning NAIA National Attacker of the Week, was held to just eight kills and hit just .050 on the night. As a team Midland was held to a .083 hitting percentage and committed 23 errors on the attack. Jenny Bair had a productive night on the right side as she led the team with nine kills.
Midland had just five blocks in the three set match. Bair, Peters and O’Dowd each had a solo block to lead the way.
Hastings had 12 blocks as a team and hit .244 with just 16 attacking errors.
“Normally a coach might dread having a long break in the season,” coach Giesselmann said. “As much as we have been banged up this year this break is going to be good for us. We’re going to have an opportunity to get some of the girls off their feet. We should be very fresh going into Sioux City.”
On Monday the NAIA will release the field of 44 teams competing in the postseason tournament. The top 19 teams will earn an automatic bid. Midland will be making their fifth straight appearance at the final site.
Midland will have nearly three weeks to prepare for their next match. The NAIA National Volleyball Tournament begins on November 28th at the Tyson Event Center in Sioux City, Iowa.