Despite the Knights season ending loss against Cleveland, coach Jen Walter has to be pleased with what the future brings for the Knights.
(25-16, 25-21, 25-17)
In the first set, both teams traded jabs and blows as the two playoff foes went back and forth until later in the set when the Clippers pulled away, eventually taking the set 25-16.
In set two, the Knights sparked out to a 5-0 lead as Allie Labat had an ace serve to have the Knights shaking off that first set loss. However, a Cleveland timeout halted momentum and the Clippers scored the next seven of nine points to tie the set at 7-7. The Clippers looked to wipe the Knights away in set two with ease with a 23-16 lead, but the Knights stormed back with a 23-21 lead, getting the crowd back into it as the momentum began to feel electric. However, the Clippers scored the final two points to take a 2-0 lead with a 25-21 set two victory.
Cleveland’s aggressiveness just was too much for the Knights as they were on point for the entire night as the Clippers won their ninth straight match to give them an overall record of 21-11 on the season.
The Knights were led by Madison Mathiowetz who had eight kills and eight digs. Senior Lauren Hoffmann added 19 digs while freshman Bella Hoffmann had seven set assists with eight digs in her playoff debut. The Knights season ends at 16-9 overall and graduate two seniors in Lauren Hoffmann and Madesen Roberts.
Coach Jen Walter credited her team’s preparation despite the loss and gave Cleveland credit with their aggressiveness at the net. “We prepared a lot for Cleveland, but unforunately weren’t able to match their aggressive play.”
Walter also looks forward to the future after going 16-9 this season with a conference record of 6-2 on the year. With the Knights graduating just two seniors, St. Mary’s should remain in the upper echelon of the Tomahawk Conference as they hope to build off of the strong season.
Five Knights named to Tomahawk Conference All-Academic Team
Lauren Hoffmann, Sydney Windschitl, Madison Mathiowetz, Reagan Severson, Julia Helget were named to the Tomahawk Conference All-Academic team for their efforts in the classroom this season.