Ciana Smiley blocked for the final point, and Cate celebrated a wild five-set win over St. Bonaventure, taking the deciding set 18-16, on Tuesday night. The match scores were 18-25, 25-14, 26-28, 25-15, 18-16.
“The match was equal in talent on both sides of the net, which was evident in the seesaw scores leading up to the fifth set,” Cate coach Greg Novak said. “It is always the fifth set that brings out the nerves to see who will perform.”
Novak moved Halie Straathof to outside hitter and she performed well. “She did a phenomenal job of passing, serve receive and playing defense,” said Novak. “This move helped the Rams improve their service receive passing and ultimately improve their hitting percentage.”
Smiley and Katie Brown combined for 16 kills with only two errors, giving Cate good production in the middle. Delaney Mayfield led the attack from the outside.
Novak praised setters Emily Burns and Maya Blattberg for their work in the Rams’ 6-2 offense.
Cate improves to 2-1 and plays at Grace Brethren on Thursday.