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No. 6 Midland rallies to defeat No. 18 Embry-Riddle in day two of the national tournament

No. 6 Midland rallies to defeat No. 18 Embry-Riddle in day two of the national tournament

Dec 5th , 2013

Sioux City, Iowa – No. 6 Midland University defeated No. 18 Embry Riddle Aeronautical University 3-2 (25-21,19-25,28-26,15-25,15-13) on Wednesday night in day two of the NAIA National Volleyball Tournament. The win keeps the Warriors' tournament hopes alive moving to 1-1 in pool play.

"What a defensive battle tonight," said Paul Giesselmann, Midland University volleyball head coach. "We had to earn every point tonight. I'm extremely proud of how we fought back being down late in the fifth set. Our program has had so many firsts this season, now that we have our first win of the tournament behind us, it's time to refocus, rest and get prepared for tomorrow."

In the first set of the night, Midland was business as usual. The Warriors jumped out to a 15-10 lead off a kill by Ashley Wheeler from the assist by Megan Farley. Embry-Riddle tied the set late in the match at 21-21, but the Warriors would rally and score four straight points capped off by a kill from KC Heimann to take game one, 25-21. Set two was all square between the two squads at the midway point, 12-12. The Eagles would go on a 6-2 run making it an 18-14 game. A few costly errors late in the set would end up being the deciding factor as Embry-Riddle won game two, 25-19, and tied the match up at 1-1.

Midland bounced back in set three taking the early lead, 5-1, over the Eagles. The rest of the match would be about rallies as the Warriors went on a 5-0 run to tie the match up at 19-19 late in the game. Back and forth the set went with neither team giving up ground. Finally, an error by the Eagles would give Midland set three, 28-26.

The Warriors kept it close at the beginning of set four off a kill from Heather Pribyl to make it a 10-9 game with the Eagles up by one. Embry-Riddle then went on a huge rally and would lead the match 18-12 as Midland was not able to recover, dropping set four, 25-15. The match was tied at 2-2 and would head to the fifth and final set.

Midland trailed early in set five, 7-2 to Embry-Riddle, but the Warriors would persevere and start a comeback off the Makenzie Scheef kill, to eventually tie the game at 11-11. Ashlee Harms would come up with a season-saving block to make it a 14-13 Midland lead. An attacking error by the Eagles would cost them the set 15-13, and the match 3-2.

KC Heimann led the Warriors with 16 kills, hitting .163. Mackenzie Scheef knocked down 11 kills in the victory.Molly Pettit played an outstanding match with 30 digs on the night and Megan Farley recorded 42 assists in the win. Midland University jumps to 1-1 in pool play with the victory. Embry-Riddle drops to 0-2. Midland will play their final match of pool play tomorrow, December 5 at 8:00 p.m. taking on Oklahoma Baptist University.