MLC comes up short

NEW ULM The Martin Luther College volleyball team lost 25-23, 24-26, 25-17, 26-28, 15-10 in a thriller against Upper Midwest Athletic Conference opponent Northwestern College on Saturday.

“I’m very, very proud of our team,” MLC head coach Becky Cox said. “We played an outstanding game, and Northwestern is an outstanding team, and we played them point for point.”

Rebecca Engelbrecht recorded eight kills in the first set to pace the Knights, but they fell behind after losing the first set 25-23.

MLC setter Miranda Maasz continued to feed Engelbrecht in the second set, and Engelbrecht had six more kills in the second set. Maasz had three kills of her own on tricky little tips over the net which caught the Eagles off-guard, and junior Heather Danell secured the second set with a huge kill.

The Knights let up a little bit in the third set as Northwestern won the third set by eight points which was the largest margin of victory in all five sets.

The energy in the gym was high as the fourth set took extra points again. Morgan Kumbier and Sara Willems each had a monster block late in the set, and Kayla Schoeneck recorded a big time kill to keep the Knights in the game before they survived on a Northwestern errant hit.

Engelbrecht and Schoeneck had four and three kills, respectively, in the final set, but it was not enough for the Knights to knock off the number one team in the UMAC as they fell 3-2.

“We know that we can play with the top team in the conference, and if we can play at that level every time we step on the court we are going to be just fine for our season,” Cox said.

Engelbrecht had 27 kills and digs to lead the Knights in both categories. Maasz recorded 60 set assists to lead the team.

Schoeneck had 18 kills, Anthon added 21 digs, while Kumbier and Danell led the Knights with five blocks.

The Knights (8-8, 2-2) travel to play at Northland College on Friday.

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