Cathedral makes quick work of MVL

NEW ULM – New Ulm Cathedral’s Jenna Helget needed 32 set assists to reach 1,000 for her career heading into Thursday’s match against Minnesota Valley Lutheran.

Helget tallied 31, but still led the Cathedral offense to a 25-21, 25-13, 25-16 win against MVL in a Tomahawk Conference volleyball match on Thursday.

“For the last two years, Jenna has been that consistent player – she works with all the hitters,” Cathedral coach Becky Wilfahrt said. “The girls really wanted it for her tonight, so it’s a little disappointing. But she’ll get it Saturday.”

Wilfahrt lauded her team’s hitting performance as its best all season, which is partly thanks to Helget’s passing.

Junior middle Becca Schwarz had a big night for the Greyhounds (8-5, 1-2 Tomahawk) with a match-high nine kills and three blocks with no hitting errors.

“Becca Schwarz had an amazing game – probably the best game she’s had all year,” Wilfahrt said. “She played really well.”

The Chargers (0-10, 0-3) recorded eight hitting errors in the first set, but made things interesting with a 4-0 run to pull to within 21-19. The Greyhounds managed to record four of the final six points to escape the potential upset in that game.

Through six non-tournament matches, MVL has yet to win a set.

“We’re still not consistent in our offense,” MVL coach Sara Gieseke said. “It’s kind of tough to get any points when our shots aren’t going in.”

The second frame was tight until Cathedral went on a 10-2 run to take a convincing 17-8 lead. MVL also yielded 11 free points, including six attack errors to aid Cathedral in the 25-13 second set.

The Chargers took their second lead of the night – their first since Brittany Sanders’ serve lipped the net for an ace that made it 2-1 in Set 2 – after back-to-back service aces by Haley Birkholz made it 10-9. Back-to-back blocks by Helget and Schwarz as well as a rotation violation helped Cathedral regain a 12-11 lead.

MVL tied it before Rose Hazuka tallied three-straight kills to close out a 6-1 run for Cathedral.

From there, Cathedral pulled away with an inspired effort in a 10-4 run.

Hazuka tied Schwarz in kills with nine on the night. Kristina Long, Nicole Gangelhoff and Annie Roufs all had six kills apiece, while Roufs had 15 digs and Gangelhoff had 14 digs.

For the Chargers, Sanders had 16 set assists and three aces, while Maddie Spurgin had a team-high six kills with 10 digs. Birkholz had four kills, 14 digs and two aces.

Cathedral will play Saturday at the St. James Area tournament, while MVL will play Tuesday at Sibley East.