NEW ULM - With a huge match on Saturday looming over the Martin Luther College volleyball team, the Knights made sure to take care of their Friday opponent first.
The Knights did just that, sweeping Northland College, the bottom-dwellers of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, by scores of 25-13, 25-14, 25-14.
MLC took care of business from the beginning on Friday evening, and turned the match into a warm-up for Saturday.
"The key to tonight was to come out strong and play the type of ball we know how to play," said junior setter Miranda Maasz.
The Knights did just that as they bolted out to an early 6-2 lead, and held a sizeable lead throughout the remained of the first set. MacCartney Mendolla and Maasz each had two ace serves, while Rebecca Engelbrecht and Heather Danell combined for nine kills in the first set.
The second set started off closer, but with the Knights up 9-7, an eight-point run virtually ended the set. The Knights were also able to substitute different players into the game as well.
The third set was much like the first, as the Knights gained a lead early and continued on for an easy sweep of the Lumberjills.
Engelbrecht led the Knights with nine kills, while Morgan Kumbier added seven kills and hit .875 for the match. Maasz had 27 set assists and added four services aces and eight digs. Alex Anthon led the Knights with nine digs.
After clinching a spot in the UMAC playoffs with a win on Wednesday, the Knights are still playing for seeding. Sitting at 9-4 in the UMAC, the Knights will host St. Scholastica today with the number three seed on the line.
"We needed to play well tonight, take care of business and get ready for our match against Scholastica tomorrow," Maasz said. "It'll be a big game tomorrow and hopefully we can carry some of this momentum into tomorrow and next Wednesday and hopefully Saturday."
The Knights face Scholastica at 11 a.m. today. Win or lose, the Knights will then play Wednesday evening in the opening round of the UMAC Tournament.