St. Mary’s volleyball team went 3-2 and took third place at the Sleepy Eye Volleyball Tournament on Sept. 7.

St. Mary’s volleyball team went 3-2 and took third place at the Sleepy Eye Volleyball Tournament on Sept. 7.

All of the games at the tournament were best of three sets instead of the usual best of five sets to save time. The Knights went 2-1 in their pool play games to start the tourney. St. Mary’s first game was a commanding 2-0 victory over Truman. The Knights came out strong in the first set and won 25-19, and didn’t let up as they won 25-12 in the second set.

St. Mary’s used its first win momentum to fight hard against the veteran team of Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial (LCWM). The Knights knew they would have their work cut out for them, as LCWM’s team consists of five seniors and four experienced juniors this year. St. Mary’s came close in the first set, but lost 21-25, and wasn’t able to tie the sets as LCWM took the second and final set 25-17.

The Knights went into their third pool play game with a 1-1 record, and handed it to Martin Luther as they won 25-17, 25-15.

St. Mary’s was the No. 2 team from its pool, and faced the No. 1 team of Redwood Valley from the other pool to start the playoff bracket.

The Cardinals were undefeated on the day and continued their streak as they beat the Knights 2-1. St. Mary’s took the first set 25-21, but gave Redwood Valley the other two and lost 19-25, 6-15.

The Knights moved down the bracket and faced Madelia to determine the third place finish of the day. The Blackhawks were determined to win, but St. Mary’s held on to win in straight sets, 25-21, 25-23.

Senior Deonna Brinkman led the Knights with 25 total kills during the tournament, and junior Becca Schmitz recorded 20 kills of her own. Senior Bethany Berkner had 69 set assists, while senior Hayley Heid led the defense with 22 digs. Seniors Nikki Carr and Lexie Weiss combined for 26 digs as well.

The Knights also split their past two regular season games to bring their season record to 5-3 so far.

On Sept. 3, St. Mary’s traveled to Minnesota Valley Lutheran to take on the Chargers. The Knights had a sluggish start, as they were defeated 21-25 in the first two sets. But St. Mary’s warmed up in the next two sets as they were able to take the third 25-20 and tie the game 2-2 after winning the fourth 25-12. It all came down to the fifth and final set, but the Knights committed six ball handling errors and lost it 8-15.

Brinkman once again led in kills for St. Mary’s, this time with 12. Carr and Schmitz combined for 16 kills of their own. Berkner led in assists with 38.

On Sept. 5, the Knights were back on home court where they hosted Mountain Lake Area in another five set nail-biter. St. Mary’s controlled the first set and won 25-16, but the Wolverines were able to take advantage of a combined 11 hitting errors and four serving errors by the Knights in the next two sets and were up two sets to one. But St. Mary’s settled down as they took the fourth set 25-19 despite several more errors, and won a close 15-13 fifth set by making little to no errors at all.

Schmitz had 16 kills to lead the Knights offense, and recorded five blocks as well. Brinkman had seven kills and four serving aces, while Berkner once again led in assists with 31.