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Waldorf drops road loss to Mount Mercy

By Matt Oliver

CEDAR RAPIDS – Putting up a fight in each and every set, the Waldorf College volleyball team came up short against Mount Mercy University on Tuesday.

The Mustangs (17-6) won by scores of 25-19, 25-18, 25-15 to top the Warriors (5-19) for the second time this season.

“Despite the 3-0 score, it was a match we had an opportunity to win,” Waldorf coach Paul Meyer said. “We dug ourselves a hole in the first two sets and against a quality team like Mount Mercy, it’s just too hard to get out of.”

Freshman Kayla Budgins led the Warriors with eight kills and two blocks. Junior Abby Buehler connected for five kills while sophomore Kaitlyn Monck and junior Megan Perkins added four kills apiece. Waldorf also received three kills from junior Brianna Haugen.

Monck handed out 10 assists and tallied two service aces. Junior Valerie Rivera recorded a team-high 12 digs and provided nine assists for the Warriors.

Waldorf sophomore Briley Sullivan turned in 11 digs, Monck collected eight digs, sophomore Erica Fee finished with five digs and freshman Danica Cheney contributed four digs.

Mount Mercy built early advantages throughout each set and the Warriors responded. In the end, the Mustangs always managed to pull away.

“We were down as much as seven to eight points and we would get back to two to three points down, but could not get over the hump,” Meyer said.

Mount Mercy registered 39 kills and a .214 team hitting percentage while holding Waldorf to 25 kills and a -.068 hitting effort. Aside from hitting, it was a night where the Warriors were searching for a sharper all-around performance.

“One thing we struggled with is making adjustments within the play,” Meyer said. “We need to get the best possible play out of every situation.”

After battling through the first two sets, Waldorf saw the Mustangs take control of the deciding set to put the match away.

“In the third set, Mount Mercy came out firing,” Meyer said. “We got back on our heels and didn’t recover.”

The Warriors return to action next Wednesday, hosting NCAA Division III’s Gustavus Adolphus College (12-2) at 7 p.m. Next week marks homecoming at Waldorf and the Warriors also entertain Mount Mercy in a 7 p.m. contest on Friday, Oct. 9.

“We will make some adjustments since we have a few days without matches and will get things turned around heading into October,” Meyer said.