The St. Mary’s volleyball team had its final home game of the season on Oct. 7, where the Knights won in a five-set nail-biter over New Ulm Cathedral.
Having lost 1-3 to the Greyhounds earlier in the season in New Ulm, it was St. Mary’s turn to have the home crowd and the Knights wanted revenge. And they got it.
Although all of the sets were close, the first was the closest as St. Mary’s won it 25-23. Both teams exploded with their offense, which gave the set a very quick pace. Junior Becca Schmitz led at the net with multiple kills.
The Greyhounds made their own statement to start the second set after they took a huge lead. They showed more confidence with their hitting, passing, and defending. But the Knights were determined as well and managed to cut the lead to only two at 15-13. A few errors were then made by St. Mary’s which extended the lead once again for New Ulm Cathedral as it led 21-15. The Knights scraped up a few more points but the Greyhounds won it 25-19.
The third set was a game changer for St. Mary’s. The Knights were once again behind to start the set, but came back and tied it at 13. After the score was tied five more times, St. Mary’s showed it wouldn’t buckle under the pressure as they took the third set 25-21.
It was Schmitz who struck again in the fourth quarter. Schmitz scored a few points just from her solid blocks at the net. The Knights dominated this set as they won 25-20.
The fifth and final set was at first a cliffhanger at a 4-4 tie. But Deonna Brinkman, Schmitz, and the rest of the Knights did well offensively with great ball placement and took a slow lead, which turned into a game winning one as they took it 15-11.
Schmitz had 25 kills and four blocks to lead St. Mary’s. Schmitz knew beating their rival opponent would be tough and said determination was the key.
“We know they’ve been doing really good lately and we knew we had to bring it tonight,” Schmitz said. “We just worked really hard and we pushed.”
After a 0-3 loss to Wabasso on Oct. 3, the Knights regrouped on Oct. 5 as they were consolation winners for the volleyball tournament held at St. Clair High School. The team took third place in the pool, but then won its next two games versus Madelia and Mt. Lake Area. Coach Jen Walter said it was great to get the team back on track and beat the Greyhounds to top it off.
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“We won the last two games at the tournament on Saturday so we had to keep the streak going,” Walter said. “We were playing really good ball at the tournament so we kind of felt like we finally turned that corner back to where we wanted it to be, so, it feels good.”
Brinkman had 15 kills for St. Mary’s. Meanwhile, Bethany Berkner is close to 1,000 set assists on the season after she recorded 48 against the Greyhounds. Finally, Hayley Neid, Nikki Carr, and Laura Pelzel led in digs with 23, 21, and 17, respectfully.