Thunder Volleyball Ready to Roll for 2023
The Thunder volleyball squad is off to another great start this 2023 season. In the fifth annual Thunder Invitational hosted at MCC, the squad finished 2-2. As always the Thunder Invitational provides highly competitive matches for the team to start their season off! The weekend brought four NAIA teams to Howie's Activity Center, Cottey College, Sterling College, Stephens College and Central Christian College.
MCC started Friday with matches against Cottey College and Sterling College.
The Thunder defeated Cottey College in four closely contested sets, winning 25-21 20-25, 25-23 and 26-24. Sophomore middle Hali Bloomdahl led the offense with 20 kills and .359 attacking percentage. Sophomore outside Liv Lubbers contributed 13 kills and 16 digs. Senior libero Roni Harris had an incredible 40 digs. Freshman setter Josie Mehl had 13 digs and 45 assist. Freshman defensive specialist Jozie Kanode added 10 digs and 1 ace.
Next up for the Thunder, was Sterling College. After starting the match over 2 hours late due to the competitive matches earlier in the day, MCC handled themselves well but were defeated by Sterling in three sets 16-25, 19-25 and 23-25. The offense was led by Lubbers with 13 kills and Mehl had 6 kills. Harris notched another 20 digs while Lubbers added 13 digs.
Saturday would bring two more matches, Stephens College and Central Christian College.
The Stephens match was a back and forth battle with Stephens eventually coming out on top. The Thunder dropped the match 23-25, 25-18, 16-25 and 21-25. Lubbers had 13 kills, 3 aces and 14 digs. Bloomdahl added 9 kills and 6 blocks. Freshman outside Jaiden Brewer and junior right side Mia Tapko both added 8 kills each. Kanode was strong defensively with 10 digs.
Last up would be Central Christian College. MCC would come away with the win in four exciting sets, winning 25-18, 25-17, 20-25, and 25-21. Libbers led the offense with 16 kills and added 16 digs. Bloomdahl along with sophomore middle Hannah Beukelman both notched 9 kills each along with 5 block between the two of them. Freshman defensive specialist Jacie Hurla added 15 digs and Harris finished with 23 digs.
"Going 2-2 against the tough NAIA competition was incredible for this young team. We played the entire roster this weekend and held our own in every match. This young team has loads of potential and this weekend pushed and grew our team tremendously. I was incredibly proud of our level of play, composure and outcome of all of our matches!" stated Coach Sanders.
The Thunder defeated NCCAA Central region opponent, Kansas Christian College in three straight sets last night. Up next will be Midwest Christian College Conference opponents this weekend in the MCCC Conference Classic. MCC will play Emmaus Bible College on Friday evening at 6:00pm and Faith Baptist Bible College on Saturday at 1:00pm.