Sleepy Eye sweeps ML/GHEC/T

By Jeremy Reinarts

Journal Sports Writer

SLEEPY EYE — The Sleepy Eye volleyball team was able to get its first win of the 2018 season with a 3-0 sweep of Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman on Thursday night.

Sleepy Eye was able to break away in the first two sets to get the lead late in the game to win 25-18, 25-16 and 25-22 for the shutout.

“It was a good game for our first game, overall we had good hitters and servers for our first game,” Sleepy Eye’s Cassidy Hoffmann said. “We just kept our heads up by staying confident and positive to keep moving forward.”

The final set came within 1 point as the Jaguars brought the crucial final set to a 23-22 deficit on a kill from Lydia Studer from the outside. ML/GHEC/T was on a scoring run before a serving error put the ball back on the Sleepy Eye side just a point away from the shutout.

A carry was called after a long volley to get the final point and the Indians’ victory.

“We found a way to get it and I am really happy with how our first game went,” head coach Sydney Geiger said. “It was expected to come out slow the first game, but we really came around with the momentum and carried that into the second set.”

The Indians’ outside hitting came out strong in the first set and was able to remain consistent throughout the match.

Brittney Dittbenner and Leslie Flores took the share of the hits from the outside to create the chaos on the other side of the court.

“We had some huge kills and that really gets our momentum going for us, and we drove with that,” Geiger said.

Sleepy Eye broke away from a 20-17 lead with Flores serving four consecutive points with an ace and Dittbenner recording a kill for the final points in the first set.

In the late points of the first set and into the second, Sleepy Eye’s middle began to fall in place from senior Alexa Steffl and sophomore McKenna Strong filling the roles. Strong recorded a kill in the early points to assist the Indians with an early lead.

“I knew our middle would find it eventually and they did,” Geiger said. “I know they will be fine from here on out.”

ML/GHEC/T then went on a few scoring runs to find its first lead of the night, still early in the second set.

Sleepy Eye libero Madison Krueger earned the serve following a kill from Hoffmann, with Krueger setting up three ace serves to bring the game to a 9-9 tie. Sleepy Eye regained control, never looked back and led all points for the rest of the match.

Dittbenner led the Indians with five kills, Strong had four kills with three blocks and Hoffman and Flores ended with three kills each. Krueger led with 14 digs on the night.

Sleepy Eye will host Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s at 7 p.m. on Sept. 4 in a cross-town rival match from the Tomahawk Conference.