NEW ULM - A back-and-forth third set ultimately proved to be the decisive factor in a match where New Ulm Cathedral survived a scare from Cedar Mountain/Comfrey.
With the game tied at one set apiece, the Greyhounds and Cougars battled tough, but ultimately it was the Greyhounds who won and carried the momentum on for a 25-15, 22-25, 25-23, 25-15 Tomahawk Conference victory.
Cathedral came out hot in the first set, dominating from start to finish to take an early lead.
However, the Cougars were not about to let this be a short night. Trailing 21-19, the Cougars scored five straight points before ultimately landing the winning kill and tying the game up.
"We came out and played well in game two," Cougars coach Tami Martin said. "It's about their confidence and keeping themselves in the game mentally."
After winning game two, the Cougars bolted out to an 11-4 lead. Cathedral coach Stef Dietz called a timeout, which seemed to fire up the Greyhounds.
"We just have to remember to stay relaxed," Dietz said.
Cathedral scored 12 of the next 16 points and took the lead. But CM/C did not back down.
With the score tied at 20, Cathedral made just enough plays to score five points and take the third set.
It seemed that whoever was going to win game three was going to win the match.
"If we would have got that one, it would have carried over to the fourth set," Martin said. "I'm really happy with the way they played tonight."
With the momentum from the third set, Cathedral put the hammer down early and went on to earn a difficult victory.
"We needed to win that third set," Dietz said. "That rolled over into the fourth set and we did what we needed to do."
Kristin Mohr had 12 kills and 24 digs for Cathedral. Morgan Schabert had 34 set assists, while the combination of Amber Hillesheim, MacKinnon Ehlenz, and Abby Hauser totaled 43 digs.
Courtney Nelson led the way for CM/C with 13 kills and 16 digs. Brianna Lund had nine kills and 16 digs and Natalie Hoffbeck had 16 digs and 19 set assists.
Martin praised the play of Andrea Ochs, who was all over the floor, and finished with 20 digs.
"Andrea gets everywhere," Martin said. "We always know she's going to be there and we depend on her."
Cathedral improves to 13-8-1 and 4-3 in conference. It hosts Sleepy Eye on Monday.
CM/C drops to 1-16 and 1-6 in the conference. The Cougars will play in the Subway Tournament in Marshall this weekend.