Cougars share the title

MORGAN-Cedar Mountain/Comfrey defeated Sleepy Eye St. Marys to force a three-way tie for the Tomahawk Conference title. CM/C has not won the conference since 1990. On Thursday it won 25-22, 25-21, 26-24.

“Getting co-conference champions is huge for us, just knowing how hard these girls worked to earn that, is awesome,” CM/C coach Beth Hill said.

During the first set St. Mary’s had a difficult time competing at the net, as CM/C jumped to a very fast 14-6 lead. St. Mary’s battled back with strong defensive play from libero Megan Labat, bringing the ball back to the net.

Ali Beltz delivered a kill from the middle, to bring St. Mary’s back to a 23-20 deficit. Serving from Labat brought the Knights within one, but costly mistakes gave the Cougars the win. Labat led the knights with 26 digs for St.?Mary’s.

“Labat does a good job reading the hitters and getting underneath the ball for us,” St. Mary’s coach Jen Walter said.

Early in the second set, St. Mary’s broke a tie, going on a 16-9 run, before Katelyn Green delivered nine service points giving CM/C’ its first led of the set. St. Mary’s came back with two points, bringing the score to 24-21, but in the end it wasn’t enough as CM/C went on to win.

“We just refocused we realize it is all in our control and it comes down if we played discipline volleyball we will be fine,” Hill said.

Neither team was willing to give up easily, with strong play at the net. Kills from both sides of the floor kept the scoring even, as St. Mary’s showed strength as Anna Lux dropped two consecutive kills to tip the scale, for a 15-10 lead.

Strong serving from CM/C’s Jordan Kevelin and Lauren Boyle brought the score back to even. Both teams fought for a side out point as the score was locked up at 24 when St. Mary’s Lux dropped a hard kill from the outside to stop a victory for the Cougars. CM/C dug deep as it earned the side out following a service point from Boyle for the match.

The Knights were led by Lux with 14 kills, Ali Beltz delivered 10 kills with 10 digs. Jody Hansen tallied 28 set assists with 18 digs and 5 kills.

Paige Richert delivered nine kills with three blocks leading the Cougars. Abby Jemmings had 24 set assists, with 23 digs as Boyle tallied 21 digs and Green ended with 17 digs.

St. Mary’s will travel to New Ulm Cathedral at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

CM/C will travel to Clara City to take on MACCRAY on Tuesday.