Eagles drop home opener

NEW ULM – The excitement of playing their first match in their new high school was barely over when Blue Earth Area showed why it entered Tuesday’s play with a record of 6-2.

The Bucs stormed to a quick lead early on, only to watch New Ulm close the gap in the first set. However, the Bucs proved to be too tough in a 25-16, 25-18, 25-17 Big South Conference match at New Ulm High School.

The Eagles (0-5) were competitive with the Bucs in their new gymnasium. But it was a matter of the Bucs having too many weapons at times.

“It was a big moment for them, I know that they were excited to be in this new gym, the new building and we’ve been doing some decent things on the offensive side,” New Ulm coach Zach Hansen said. “I was really proud with how we were able to at least set a tone early in the game.”

The Bucs fought off a surging Eagles team in the first set before closing the set on a 4-0 run to win 25-16. The Bucs then jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the second set thanks to some strong play at the net.

“They’ve got some good hitters, we’ve been talking a lot about mentally not taking plays off,” Hansen said.?”We want to stay consistent, they had some really great players, but I was proud of our girls and how they did that tonight.”

The Bucs went on a mid-set run in the second set, grabbing a 19-9 lead before slamming the door.

The Eagles had an early 6-3 lead in the third set, but the Bucs came back to take the set and the match.

Kayla Brandes had 10 set assists and Emma Bute added six assists. Sarah Longtin finished with 11 digs and Danielle Hogue had 12 digs and four kills. Madison Suess had five kills and Makenna Kluis had three aces for the Eagles.

New Ulm (0-5) is at St. James on Thursday for another Big South Conference match.