Grand Rapids, Mich. - The Alma College volleyball team defeated Trine and Saint Mary's in a pair of 3-1 matches in the final day of the MIAA Preview Tournament on Saturday (Sept. 8). Senior middle blocker Katie Bush (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) led Alma in kills, kill percentage and blocks over the two matches while Sara Majerle (Rockford, Mich. / Rockford), Haley Novak (Midland, Mich. / Bullock Creek), Naomi Mason (Kaleva, Mich. / Brethren) and Georgia Miller (Georgetown, Ky. / Scott County) were all equally strong statistically.
Majerle posted 23 kills and a team-high 40 digs and six service aces. Novak had 31 digs in addition to huge assist numbers of 40 and 52. Mason tallied 17 kills, including 10 against Saint Mary's. And Miller had a total of 24 kills, 27 digs and a hit percentage of .284 on the day.
Alma is now 7-1 on the year, behind Calvin and Hope in the MIAA standings. Trine is 4-4, Saint Mary's is 1-4.
How it Happened
- The Scots dropped the first set to Trine 27-25 but came back to win the next three 26-24, 25-21 and 25-22. Both teams went on a series of runs in the first set, taking as much as a four-point lead, before Trine scored six of the set's last eight points.
- The second set was much of the same. Alma led 13-11 before Trine went on a 10-3 run. The Scots responded with a 10-3 run of their own to come back from down five and win the set by two.
- Alma led wire-to-wire in the third set and held as much as a six-point lead. The Thunder got to within two at 23-21, but that was stopped by Majerle en route to a 25-21 win.
- The fourth set saw Alma jump out to an 8-3 lead and extend it to 20-14. Trine again crept back in with an 8-2 run to tie the set at 22, but kills from Novak and Majerle put the game on ice.
- The Scots took the first game against Saint Mary's 25-18 behind 18 kills and a .567 hit percentage. It dropped a tightly contested second set, one that saw 18 ties, 29-27.
- The third set was also very close until Alma pulled away with a 9-1 run to go from down 14-15 to up 23-16. It closed out the set with a kill by Miller and service error by the Belles.
- Alma jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set and never looked back. Runs of 5-2 and 7-1 ballooned the lead to 23-13, which was too much for Saint Mary's to handle. Mason's 10th kill put the match on ice.
- Haley Novak set a new career-high in assists with 40 against Trine, then broke it with 52 against Saint Mary's. She has set a new career-high in that category in her last three matches.
- Novak is second in the MIAA with 225 assists and third in assists per set with 8.33.
- Katie Bush had a career-high 17 kills against Saint Mary's. Her hit percentage of .593 is the second-highest of her career and the third time she has hit over .500.
- Bush is fifth in the conference in hit percentage at .350. She is also first in the conference in total blocks with 32. She had nine on the day.
- Naomi Mason also had a career-high 10 kills, besting her previous mark of nine set earlier this year.
The Scots return to action on Friday (Sept. 14) at Augustana College for a match at 8 p.m.