HASTINGS, Neb. – No. 8-ranked Midland University went on the road Wednesday night looking to end their three-game losing streak and did just that with a four-set win at Hastings College (27-29, 25-19, 25-23, 25-19). The streak, which began after a home win over the same Broncos team, was the longest since the 2017 season.
Midland played well at the start jumping out to a six point lead thanks to a shakeup in the starting lineup. Looking to get a spark, head coach Paul Giesselmann inserted Bailey Schindler into one of the middle blocker spots and Teisa Tuioti into an outside hitter role. The move paid off as the whole team’s level of focus and play was much higher than it had been in the past week.
Despite the higher level of play, the Warriors dropped the opening set. Down 24-21, Hastings was able to go on an 8-3 run to take the first set in front of their home crowd.
The Warriors hit a respectable .216 from the attack in the set but allowed the Broncos to counter with a .341 hitting percentage of their own.
During the break the Midland coaches challenged the upperclassmen to get control of the set and not let up. They did just that as they once again jumped out to an early 11-3 lead. They built the 8 point lead with tough defense as they forced the Broncos into six errors during the run. Hastings would hit just .089 in the second as they totaled 7 errors to 11 kills. Midland had just 3 error in the set with 12 kills for a .200 hitting percentage.
After the extended set break, Hasting came out and looked to be reenergized as they took an early 12-8 lead. That’s when Midland took over thanks to kills by veterans Maggie Hiatt and Taylor Petersen, and four attacking errors by the Broncos outside hitter.
With a 15-12 lead Midland rode the Hiatt and Petersen the rest of the set, winning 25-23. Hiatt had five kills and four blocks in the set while Petersen had seven kills and a block.
The Warriors hit .170 in the third set while the Broncos countered with .079.
In the fourth, Midland ran away with the set to seal the road win. They started with a 13-5 run thanks to five more errors by the home team. Hastings had their worst set of the night, hitting -.032 on the attack, with 9 kills and 10 errors. Midland had 11 kills and 7 errors, hitting .121 in the final set.
“This was a good win for our players,” Coach Giesselmann said afterward. “After a couple losses where we haven’t played well I thought it was important for our team to get off to a good start on the road. We got up eight points in game one and then just gave the game away. That was very disappointing but I liked how the team didn’t panic and just trusted each other and played very good team defense the next three games.”
For the match Midland had three players reach double-digit kills. Petersen finished with 17, Hiatt had 10 and Brooke Fredrickson had 12.
Bree Burtwistle and Hope Leimbach coordinated the Midland attack. Burtwistle finished with a 22 set assists while Leimbach led the team with 24.
Fredrickson recorded her second double-double of the season, as she finished with 10 digs to with her kills. Taliyah Flores had 25 digs to lead the team.
Defensively at the net Hiatt was two blocks away from a double-double of her own as she had six block assists and two solo stops, leading the team with eight blocks.
Midland (14-6, 6-3 GPAC) will be off this weekend as they prepare for their road match at College of Saint Mary (18-8, 3-5 GPAC) next Wednesday, October 16. The Warriors and Flames will take the court at the Lied Fitness Center in Omaha at 7:30 p.m.