St. Mary’s comes back to defeat Sleepy Eye

SLEEPY EYE — The Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s volleyball team brought heavy hitting to the crosstown rival match-up as two Tomahawk teams squared up for a nonconference matchup. The Knights defeated Sleepy Eye 3-2.

St. Mary’s was forced to play from behind in each of its three wins to defeat Sleepy Eye 21-25, 25-20, 19-25, 27-25, 18-16.

St. Mary’s bounced back from a 25-21 first set loss to even the score at 1-1 with a 25-20 second set victory. St. Mary’s bounced back from a 15-9 deficit to then lead 20-15 when Leah Weiss went on a 10-point scoring run from the service line.

The Indians recovered to win the third set 25-19 with the Knights again mounting a late comeback trying to get back in the set. The Indians middle was solid all match with McKenna Strong facing the hard hitting and recording kills from her middle position.

St. Mary’s used extra room on the scoreboard to breakaway from Sleepy Eye and earn the two-point advantage and win the third set 27-25. Sleepy Eye’s Macy Schenk brought the Indians back in striking distance with a kill from the outside tying the set up at 25-25. St. Mary’s Cassie Heinrichs and Madison Mathiowetz ended the fourth set with kills from the right and left as the match now needed to fifth set to decide the outcome.

Sleepy Eye’s Madison Krueger and Brittney Dittbenner gave the Indians an 8-2 advantage in the final set from the service line. Dittbenner had a solid night hitting for the Indians with a kill that brought the ball back into Krueger’s hands for the serve.

St. Mary’s found a way to stay within reach of the fifth set having to overcome a large amount of hitting errors on the Knights’ side of the court.

St. Marys’ Alexis Anderson dropped a tremendous blocking point with Sleepy Eye finding away to put points up trying to walk away with the final set in its home gym. Callie Bohnen delivered a kill from the Knights right side to bring the Knights deficit to four points before Dittbenner answered with a kill and the Indians 14-9 lead.

A service error by the Indians put the ball in the hands of Weiss to serve for the Knights with St. Mary’s seeming to find away to run with the points with Weiss at the line. Weiss was able to give her team the 15-14 lead with a kill from Mathiowetz in the run.

Mathiowetz and Sydney Windschitl dropped kills for the final two points as St. Mary’s celebrated the 18-16 fifth-set victory to win the match.

Heinrichs led the Knights dropping 10 kills, Mathiowetz had nine kills with nine set assists, Weiss added 20 set assists and Lauren Hoffmann ended with 15 digs. Hoffmann was 15 of 15 serving and Mathiowetz went 13 of 13 serving for the Knights.

Strong led Sleepy Eye with eight kills and Cassidy Hoffmann had six kills with 12 set assists, Krueger finished with 14 digs and Dittbenner served seven aces.

St. Mary’s will host Springfield at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Sleepy Eye hosts the Sleepy Eye Tournament on Saturday with games starting at 9 a.m.