NEW ULM - The Sleepy Indians volleyball team really needed this one.
Having lost their last three matches and nine of their last 10 sets, their gutty 25-20, 13-25, 25-21, 12-25, 16-14 win over the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds Tuesday night was just what the doctor ordered.
"It's our first win in a while, a huge win to get through this," Sleepy Eye coach Courtney Brey said. "We stayed level-headed tonight, which was tough considering how loud the crowd was."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Cathedral’s MacKinnon Ehlenz (5) spikes the ball around the block of Sleepy Eye’s Claire Krumbach Tuesday at CHS in New Ulm.
On the other hand, Cathedral has had a hard time maintaining consistency this season.
"It's just a roller coaster, up and down," Cathedral coach Stef Dietz said. "We played well at times, and the next minute Sleepy Eye did what they needed to do. We've got to play aggressive all the way through."
The Indians took control early in the first set, holding a 9-5 lead before the Greyhounds tied it at 12-12. Sleepy Eye rolled off the next five points to lead 17-12 and never let Cathedral back in the game.
The Greyhounds pulled away in the second set after the score was 6-6, rolling to a 19-11 lead after a Lisa Helget kill and eventually to the 25-13 win.
The Greyhounds held four-point leads three times in the early part of the third set, but couldn't hold them.
After a 17-17 tie, the Indians went to middle hitters Claire Krumbach and Tia Cselovszki for offense, with a Sam Krebsbach kill giving Sleepy Eye a 2-1 advantage.
It appeared that the Indians' win in the third set might be the stick that rattled Cathedral's hornets nest, because the Greyhounds simply dominated the fourth set. After holding a 10-9 lead, Cathedral outscored Sleepy Eye 16-3 behind eight kills and two aces from the offense.
The Greyhounds looked pretty comfortable in the beginning of the final set, taking a 4-0 lead behind two aces from Paige Pautzke. But three unforced errors and kills from Krumbach and Cselovszki tied it at 6-6. There would be two more ties, the final at 14-14, but the Indians never relinquished the lead. A tip kill from Krumbach and a final kill from Emily Curtis gave the Indians the victory.
For the Greyhounds, Pautzke had 38 set assists and 15 digs, while Helget had 16 kills and 16 digs. Karlee Pfaff added nine kills and 12 digs.
Krumbach led the Indians with nine kills, 12 digs and two aces. Cselovszki had eight kills, Krebsbach had seven kills and one block, Curtis notched one block and Miranda McMullen recorded 11 digs and 31 set assists.
Sleepy Eye plays Saturday at a tournament in Nicollet, while the Greyhounds host Sleepy Eye St. Mary's Monday night at 7 p.m.