NEW ULM - The volleyball match between the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds and the Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Mustangs Tuesday night is an example of teams learning their games as the season progresses.
The Greyhounds entered the night 2-0, but hadn't found a consistent offense. The Mustangs were 2-1, having lost their last match in five games, but feeling they should have won.
So while the result showed BLHS beating Cathedral 25-14, 25-27, 25-14, 25-20, it could have been a pivotal night of the season for both squads.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart’s Mariah Paulson (8) tries to hit the ball around the block of New Ulm Cathedral’s Anna Mohr (11) during the second game of their match Tuesday at CHS.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
"We learned that we really have to move and talk as a team and have fun," said Mustangs middle hitter Kiana Johnson, who ended the night with 11 kills and 11 blocks. "We tried to get a lot more hits as setters, too."
BLHS coach Susan Alstrom had two regulars down with nagging injuries and was only able to rotate nine players.
"We had some lineup shifts tonight," Alstrom said. "I thought we attacked pretty well. Our offense was spread out pretty evenly."
The Greyhounds offense was noticeably more aggressive that the season opener, with three players combining for 36 kills.
"We had our moments," Cathedral coach Becky Wilfahrt said. "They're improving. Our offense and passing improved and (outside hitter) Amber Hillesheim had an amazing game all around for us."
The Greyhounds were down just 11-9 in the first set before four unforced errors moved the score to 15-9 and weren't able to come within five the rest of the game. While BLHS led practically the entire second set, Cathedral hung around long enough to stage a comeback down 24-21.
A kill from Anne Schwarz, a kill block by Anna Mohr and a out-of-bounds hit tied it at 24-24. After another tie at 25-25, the Mustangs had a net serve, followed by a Mohr kill to tie the match at 1-1.
BLHS recovered early in the third set behind a tip kill and kill block from Johnson, who would go on to block two more kills in the set. Hillesheim did her part with six kills, but the Mustangs would stretch the lead after they were up 15-13, going on a 10-1 run to lock down the win.
BLHS again looked strong to start the fourth set, rolling to a 13-7 lead. But Cathedral staged a comeback behind kills from Hillesheim and Schwarz and an ace by Jenessa Rothmeier to eventually make it 13-12. But the Greyhounds would get to within one three more times before a kill from Johnson made it 24-18 and an out-of-bounds hit by Cathedral sealed the match for BLHS.
Ashley Tintes had 23 set assists, with Ashley Petersen adding 19 for BLHS. Morgan Schabert had 44 set assists for the Greyhounds.
Cathedral travels to play Sleepy Eye St. Mary's at 7 p.m. Thursday, while BLHS (3-1) heads to play Springfield at 7 p.m. Thursday.