NEW ULM - How lucky can a team be?
In the space of a week, the New Ulm Eagles volleyball team got to play the first-ranked team in the state, Marshall, and hosted the Jackson County Central Huskies last night, who have a mere 15th ranking.
Just as Marshall swept New Ulm, so did JCC Tuesday night, 25-20, 25-11, 25-13. While the loss drops the Eagles to 9-10, New Ulm coach Lauren Hoffmann didn't see the outcome as a total negative.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Ellie Schneider (15) hits a dig shot during the Eagles match against Jackson County Central Monday at NUHS.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
"It's a good team to play against," Hoffmann said. "It's good to play good teams because it makes them play up a level and not just stay at the same level of play they've had. We still played well although the score doesn't show it."
The first set was even early, with the two teams trading jabs that resulted in four ties and a 6-6 set. After that, the Huskies essentially scored two points for every Eagle point, continually widening the lead without looking like thay were in total command.
Up 21-13, JCC hit a rough spot where they committed five unforced errors that allowed New Ulm to climb back in the competition by shaving the lead down to 22-18. Two more miscues by the Huskies cut the lead later to 23-20, but a kill and a lift call against the Eagles put New Ulm in a 1-0 hole.
Set two saw JCC get serious and use its height and power advantage to roll up a 8-1 lead. The Huskies kill display continued until they held a 18-6 advantage, where two aces from Briana Sieve, a kill from Ellie Schneider and an error helped the Eagles stage a small comeback to make it 18-10. But three kills, two kill blocks and two New Ulm errors gave JCC a 2-0 lead.
In the third set, the Huskies opened a 6-3 lead, then rattled off 10 straight points to make it 16-3, which pretty much made the only question left was to see if New Ulm could reach double digit points. They did with help from a kill block by Schneider that put the score at 23-10, but the Eagles just couldn't put an offensive streak together in the sweep.
Sieve did have 13 digs for New Ulm, while Tori Botten had 10 set assists. New Ulm hosts St. Peter at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in a South Central Conference matchup.