NEW ULM - Minnesota Valley Lutheran sophomore Johanna Kettner's nifty set tip found the ground in the back corner of Sleepy Eye's side of the court to secure a victory in a Tomahawk Conference volleyball match on Tuesday. MVL won 25-15, 25-12, 26-28, 23-25, 15-13.
The Chargers were set to sweep the Indians after easily taking the first two sets, riding on the offensive power of Bekka Olsen, but the Indians were not about to roll over and give up.
MVL jumped out to an early lead again in the third set, but Sleepy Eye came clawing back fighting for its life. With the set tied at 26-26, Claire Krumbach had a huge kill for the Indians to put them ahead, and they were able to pick up the next point and the set.
"I think we kind of had it in our heads that we could win no problem, and we really need to come out with determination every time and play hard," MVL setter Laura Schoenherr said.
Krumbach and Justine Gonzalez came up with some monster kills and blocks for Sleepy Eye to force a fifth set.
"Claire (Krumbach) is one of our captains, and we look up to her big time," Sleepy Eye head coach Nicole Jensen said. "She really took the lead in getting us all revved up tonight."
The tension could be cut with a knife as the teams took the court for the fifth set.
The teams went back and forth for the first 10 points of the set before Sleepy Eye took a 12-10 lead and forced MVL head coach Sara Gieseke to take a timeout.
"Coach Gieseke just told us to keep our heads up, keep pushing, and let's go out and finish this," Schoenherr said.
The Chargers came out fired up after the time out and scored four straight points with two points coming off of monster kills by Sarah Hinderman before Kettner ended the game with her kill two points later.
Olsen led the Chargers with 18 kills, while Kettner had 12 kills and digs.
Mariah Stein had 39 digs to lead the MVL defensive effort, and Schoenherr had 17 set assists.
Krumbach was the top performer for the Indians with 22 kills and four blocks.
The Chargers (6-8, 1-2) play again on Monday at Nicollet, while the Indians (2-6, 0-3) play on Thursday when they travel to Cedar Mountain/Comfrey.