NEW ULM - It wasn't pretty, but New Ulm Cathedral squeaked out with a five-set victory (25-19, 25-13, 19-25, 17-25, 15-9) against Cleveland in a nonconference volleyball match on Thursday night.
The Greyhounds (2-0) took a two-set lead but fell behind when the Clippers began to get their serving in order.
"It was a nice win to get," said Cathedral coach Becky Wilfahrt. "We would have liked to have done it in three, but we've got a lot of season left. We've got a lot of things to work on and we're going to keep improving from here."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Cathedral’s Amber Hillesheim (12) spikes the ball around a Cleveland defender Thursday at CHS in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Both teams had a sloppy first set with Cleveland coughing up eight free points and Cathedral coughing up three.
Cathedral pulled away with a 25-19 first-set victory with a service ace from five different servers - including two apiece from Anne Schwarz and Leah Krzmarzick.
Schwarz put on a serving clinic in the second set, tallying seven of her 10 total service aces - including a string of five-straight during an 11-0 run that propelled Cathedral to a 22-9 lead. The Greyhounds took the second set 25-13 for a commanding 2-0 lead.
"Anne is a phenomenal server," Wilfahrt said. "When she gets that topspin serve down, it is really hard to return. She gave us a good boost."
Cathedral fought hard in set 3, but Cleveland emerged from a 19-19 tie with a kill from Amy Den Herder and an ace from Cassidy Kopet en route to an eventual 25-19 third-set victory. Four kills from Anna Ely and two from Den Herder, as well as three aces from Holly Gibbs, were key for Cleveland's 25-17 victory in set 4 that sent the match into a fifth frame.
"We talked about in between sets how nothing changed from the first sets to the third and fourth," Wilfahrt said. "It was the same team, same court - everything is exactly the same. We just talked about going for every ball and stop looking at people to do your job for you."
The talk helped the Greyhounds, who emerged with a 15-9 fifth-set victory behind two kills from Schwarz and one each from Anna Mohr and Amber Hillesheim.
Mohr led the Greyhounds offensively, accounting for a match-high 13 kills as well as four blocks on the night. Wilfahrt said Mohr struggled at first, but didn't do so for long.
"Once she got going, she did a nice job for us," Wilfahrt said. "She kept going hard and that's all we ask of her."
Hillesheim finished with eight kills, Schwarz finished with four and Krzmarzick finished with three.
Cathedral host Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart on Tuesday.