Saints take care of Eagles in 4 sets
By Jeremy Reinarts
Journal Sports Writer
NEW ULM – New Ulm fought until the finish, but it was St. Peter that came out on top after four long sets Thursday night.
St. Peter defeated New Ulm 25-16, 26-24, 23-25, 27-25 in a hard-fought Big South Conference volleyball match.
The first set New Ulm battled against a strong front row from St. Peter. After being down 20-7, the Eagles charged with a five-point run led by serving from Madison Suess, closing the deficit by five points. The Eagles struggled to win the battle at the net.
“We were not playing our game, we were not executing in the first set, hats off to St. Peter they have a couple of really good hitters,” coach Zach Hansen said.
The Eagles defense seemed to pull their team together from the first point in the second set. New Ulm found its team trailing for most of the set. The game began to turn after Danielle Hogue delivered some key kills for the Eagles, She ended the night with 10 kills and one block.
New Ulm took the lead from strong serving by Hogue and Emma Bute. Scoring was tight, with both teams locked at 22, St. Peter took the set needing an extra point.
“We have been talking to these girls all along about being scrappy, playing hard and playing until the end,” Hansen said. “These girls picked each other up when things didn’t go our way and picked each other up at the end.”
The third set was also a battle, neither team found itself in more than a two-point deficit. Mackenzie Depew led the Eagles as she tallied one block, a dig, one kill while serving an ace during the third. Hogue delivered a key kill for the 24 point and the side out.
“I thought we played very well, we improved a lot since we played them last,” Depew said.
The Eagles carried the energy into the fourth set as Kayla Brandes served five points to open the lead 5-0. Turning the ball over, they struggled to get the side out point as St. Peter tied the set at 7-7. Defensively the Eagles fought hard from the back row led by their libero, Sarah Longtin.
“This is [Longtin]’s first year owning that libero position, she has played so well,” Hansen said
Bute opened the lead 13-7, serving five points adding two of her three aces in the stretch. The hard hitting, and height advantage from St. Peter wore on New Ulm’s defense as St. Peter tied the set at 19.
The Eagles broke the tie, leading the set at 24-20, Depew and Mekenna Kluis both marked kills during this run. St. Peter, again utilized its front row as the set was tied again at 24-24. St. Peter ended the match with a 27-25 win over New Ulm.
Defensively for New Ulm, Longtin led with 32 digs and Kluis with 17 digs. Brandes had 16 set assists and Depew tallied 10 kills.
New Ulm will travel to Redwood Valley for a 7 p.m. match on Monday.