Cathedral holds off MVL

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Mara Weisensel (5) tips the ball over New Ulm Cathedral’s Karlie Gieseke Tuesday at CHS.

NEW ULM — The crosstown rivalry between Minnesota Valley Lutheran and New Ulm Cathedral added another chapter to its book on Tuesday, with Cathedral (3-0) holding off an MVL (1-1) comeback with a 3-1 win in nonconference volleyball.

The Greyhounds won 25-16, 25-22, 25-27, 25-12.

The Greyhounds took an early 13-9 lead in Set 1 before MVL tied it up after a 4-0 run that featured a pair of aces by Maddie Pearson. With the score 17-16 in favor of Cathedral, the Greyhounds went on an 8-0 run to close out Set 1 with the win.

Set 2 saw MVL begin to show more life and pull out to a 14-9 lead after an ace by Lauren Paulsen. After an attack error gave MVL a 16-10 lead, the Greyhounds bit back with a 6-0 run to tie it up.

MVL didn’t go down easy in Set 2, but an attack error gave Cathedral the set and a 2-0 lead.

MVL took an early 8-2 lead after an ace by Pearson in Set 3, which forced a Cathedral timeout. Cathedral, led by a pair of Sarah Mohr blocks and a kill and block by Josie Pautzke, stormed back from a 19-12 hole to tie it and then take a 20-19 lead after a violation by MVL.

With the Greyhounds up 25-24, the Chargers tied it and took the lead after an attack error to set up the match point, which was taken after a block by Mara Weisensel for the win in the third set.

The fourth set was relatively close before Cathedral picked up its aggressiveness and ended the set on a 12-1 run for the win. Mohr had the final two kills for the Greyhounds in Set 4 and ended the night with 10 kills, eight blocks and eight digs.

“We just talked about controlling the things that we can — controlling the ball on our side of the floor and staying aggressive,” Cathedral head coach Becky Wilfahrt said. “We worked so hard in Game 3 to come back and then we got a little safe. We started not hitting the ball as hard and things like that, then we missed some opportunities there, so we just talked about controlling it on our side and staying aggressive up at the net.”

Wilfahrt said that she was proud of how her squad was playing early in the year and said that they have been impressing her more and more every game.

MVL head coach Amy Pearson said she was happy with how her team responded in the third set by being more aggressive with a heavier attack.

“I was proud of the girls,” Pearson said. “We knew this was going to be a tough game, we knew we were going to need a lot of mental toughness and we knew Cathedral was a tough defensive team. So we knew we had to hit hard and hit smart because they’re a good blocking team. Our coverage was a little lacking on following our sets and making sure that we wrapped our hitter and they exposed that on us, so props to Cathedral, they were a tough team, they came out hitting pretty aggressive themselves, so it’s a good learning experience for us.”

Pautzke had eight kills and nine digs, while Maggie Fliszar had nine kills and five aces. Lily Franta had nine digs for the Greyhounds, while Karlie Gieseke had 29 set assists.

For MVL, Pearson had 21 set assists and five aces, while Weisensel had nine kills and three blocks. Paulsen had seven kills and six digs, while Hannah Marzinske had 15 digs and four kills.

Cathedral is at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop for a 7 p.m. match on Thursday, while MVL travels to Hector for a 7 p.m. contest with Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Thursday.

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