The Knights found themselves down early, but used determination and will to end the Cougars' season.

Knights 3

Cedar Mountain 1

(25-22, 25-12, 23-25,

25-18)

Nearly a month from the day St. Mary’s lost a match 3-1 to Cedar Mountain, the Knights had one thing in mind, revenge.

The Knights certainly did that Monday night in the first round of playoffs. St. Mary’s came out sluggish early, finding themselves down 11-5 forcing coach Jen Walter to call a timeout to get her girls refocused. Cedar Mountain would come out of the timeout with the same momentum they began the match with. Another St. Mary’s timeout was called, this time down 17-8. The Knights would rattle off three straight points before falling back to a 21-12 deficit. From there on however, was all St. Mary’s.

The Knights went on to score 10 straight points forcing a timeout from the Cougars with a 22-21 lead. The Knights would come away with the big comeback set victory to take a 1-0 lead.

In set number two, it was all St. Mary’s. The Knights jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead before extending that lead to 12-5. Cedar Mountain called a timeout with the Knights leading 15-7 and the Knights put the Cougars’ will to sleep with a convincing 25-12 win to take a commanding 2-0 lead over the Cougars.

In set three, with the Knights one set victory away from advancing to the second round of playoffs, the Cougars showed some grit. The Cougars went on a 7-2 to take a 12-9 lead in the early stages of the third set, forcing Walter to call a timeout to get her team back into the moment.

Down 17-13, the Knights did just that. St. Mary’s went on a 5-0 run to take an 18-17 lead forcing the Cougars to call a timeout. The rest of the set was a desperate Cougars team relentlessly battling back and forth with the Knights, looking to keep their hopes alive for a victory. Cedar Mountain snuck away with a 25-23 victory to bring their two set deficit to 2-1.

In the fourth set, the Knights outlasted the exhausted Cougars and would take home the match victory 3-1. The Knights took advantage of a Cougars team that gave it their all in the third set and didn’t look back. Cedar Mountain put up one final hope on a 4-0 run to bring the score to 22-17, but the Knights would score the final three of four points en route to a 25-18 victory.

St. Mary’s was led statistically by Madison Mathiowetz with 19 digs and three aces. Leah Weiss added 21 set assists and 12 digs.

The Knights advance to the second round of Section 2A playoffs and will face second seeded Mayer Lutheran Thursday night, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. in Mayer.