Story courtesy of Fairmont Sentinel
FAIRMONT - Tori Edgington got Fairmont revving out of the starting block on Thursday night, Elizabeth Kim shifted the Cardinals into second gear in Game 2, while Emily Kim and Paige Bearson put the pedal to the floor in the finale.
Siblings Emily Kim and Elizabeth Kim combined for 33 points behind 41-for-42 serving to complement 17 set assists, while Bearson pounded out nine kills to ignite Fairmont's 25-17, 25-13, 25-20 South Central Conference volleyball sweep over the New Ulm Eagles at Cardinal Gym.
"Don't let up on the accelerator just because we won the first two games," Cardinal mentor Brad Haugen instructed his spikers during the changeover between Games 2 and 3. "Put the pedal down and put it away in this game."
Ironically, libero Briana Sieve literally served as the Eagles' catalyst in Game 3, staking the visitors on the scoreboard to an early 7-4 edge. Fairmont middle hitter Kersten Shantz, however, drilled home a New Ulm overpass to halt Sieve's five-point service stint before back-to-back kills by teammates Kristen Campe and Bearson reversed the match's momentum for good.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, their seventh of 10 service errors proved costly at 9-8 as Emily Kim rotated to the back line and reeled off 12 unanswered points to shift the Cardinals into cruise control. Bearson jackhammered four kills during the double-figure offensive avalanche, with Edgington and Kayla Lardy contributing an ace tip and a block, respectively.
Clinging to a 24-20 lead on the heels of two-point service runs each by New Ulm's Bree Friedman and Sieve, Bearson put the match in the books with a scorching ace kill to the baseline off an assist from Emily Kim.
"Our set distribution was much better during Games 2 and 3, and Emily Kim really hurt them with her drop dump (tips)," said Haugen.
Edgington, however, opened Game 1 with an incredible 8-0 service run, with Shantz contributing a block and a kill to highlight the Fairmont's quick start.
Elizabeth Kim rotated to the service line on the heels of Campe's sideout kill and generated four more points to establish a commanding 13-2 lead for the hometown lineup.
Sieve reeled off five straight points from the back line to whittle the Eagles' deficit to 22-14 in the opener, but Edgington's back-row attack slammed the brakes on New Ulm's late run.
Ironically, the visitors unleashed a long serve that Fairmont libero Brooke Wubbena alertly watched sail over the end line for Point 25.
Campe's cross-court kill off an Emily Kim loft proved pivotal in Game 2 as the sideout allowed Elizabeth Kim to enter the lineup. With Shantz blocking and Emily Kim hitting, Elizabeth Kim delivered a four-point service surge to seize the early momentum.
Bearson later cranked a perfect down-the-line ace kill to send Emily Kim to the service area, and the Cardinal sophomore assembled an eight-point outburst to create a commanding 18-7 edge.
Shantz, Campe and Bearson triggered Fairmont's offensive spurt down the stretch as Campe served out the winning point in Game 2.
Emily Kim generated 20 points on 22 of 23 serving for the Cardinals to complement seven set assists and six kills, while Elizabeth Kim distributed 10 assists and tallied 13 points behind 19-for-19 serving.
Shantz chalked up six kills and three ace blocks for the Cardinals, while Campe chipped in six kills.
Alley Grejtak and Sarah Nelsen each delivered six kills for the Eagles, Sieve served 18 of 21 for 13 points, while Friedman doled out 12 set assists.
Fairmont (1-2, 1-0 SCC) opens the Visitation Invitational today against St. Paul Johnson at 4:15 p.m. before facing Simley at 6:45 p.m. tonight. The Cardinals continue action in the invite on Saturday.
New Ulm (0-3, 0-1) plays host to Waseca on Tuesday night.