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Mustangs battle past Warriors in rematch

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy: Matt Oliver

CEDAR RAPIDS – The Waldorf University volleyball team saw its three-match winning streak snapped by Mount Mercy University on Tuesday.

Three days after falling to the Warriors (4-6) in four sets, the Mustangs (8-3) flipped the script in the rematch to win by scores of 14-25, 25-20, 25-19, 28-26.

“It was just a rough, inconsistent night all the way around,” Waldorf coach Paul Meyer said.

Junior Rebecca Bartnicki led the Warriors with nine kills and three total blocks. Sophomore Kayla Budgins and junior Kaitlyn Monck notched eight kills apiece. Junior Isabelle Rothbauer turned in seven kills.

Budgins also provided a solo block and two block assists. Junior April Jones posted two total blocks, helping Waldorf to seven blocks on the night.

Senior Valerie Rivera paced the Warriors with 18 assists and freshman Elisabeth Tramm added 17 assists.

Rivera and junior Erica Fee recorded 12 digs each. Junior Briley Sullivan collected 11 digs and junior Molly Minich contributed 10 digs.

Waldorf finished the match with two service aces, receiving aces from Rivera and Sullivan.

The Warriors closed out the night with a .221 team hitting percentage while the Mustangs put together a .212 hitting clip. Waldorf owned the opening set, hitting .407 and limiting Mount Mercy to a .081 hitting performance.

“We came out in the first set and totally controlled the set, getting an early lead and extending it for the win,” Meyer said.

The Mustangs reeled off nine consecutive points to start the second set. They hit .158 in the set and held the Warriors to a .091 hitting percentage.

“The second set was a completely opposite start,” Meyer said. “We ended up down right out of the gate, and although we battled back, we couldn’t overcome their lead.”

Waldorf fought in the final two sets. However, Mount Mercy maintained an edge to prevail down the stretch and secure the win.

“Both the third and fourth sets were a battle, but we never got our rhythm back, and Mount Mercy was playing well,” Meyer said. “It was a tough, disappointing loss in a match that started so well, and we could just not match their energy.”

The Warriors return to action in this weekend’s College of Saint Mary Tournament at Omaha, Nebraska. They take on Morningside College (5-1) at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and Peru State College (11-2) at 8:30 p.m. Waldorf closes out the weekend tournament on Saturday, playing Grace University (3-4) at 10:30 a.m. and Mount Marty College (2-3) at 2:30 p.m.