BLHS tops Sleepy Eye in 5-setter

By Jeremy Reinarts

Journal Sports Writer

SLEEPY EYE — Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart served up a come-from-behind victory to defeat the Sleepy Eye Indians 22-25, 25-18, 14-25, 25-14 and 17-15 in a Tomahawk Conference volleyball match Thursday night.

The Mustangs needed extra points in the final set as the Indians began to pull away with the tempo on the Sleepy Eye side of the court.

“That was very exciting, we really pushed as hard as we could to get that win,” Mustangs middle hitter Rachel Dean said.

BLHS’s Dean came up with a couple key kills in the final points with a strong kill to tie the fifth set at 14-all. Dean’s kill traveled the length of the opposing side and dropped just inside the Indians line for the tying point. The Mustangs capitalized on the final points with solid play from both ends of the court.

Sleepy Eye locked in the first set early on with a 12-3 lead when Sandy Flores came to the service line and the Indians went on a 10-0 run. Sleepy Eye’s Alexa Steffl assisted the run with a kill as did Cassidy Hoffmann when she dropped a kill on the second hit with a good view of the floor by Hoffmann.

BLHS battled back quietly to bring the first set to a 20-18 deficit with great serving and positive defensive play to keep volleys alive and continue play. Sleepy Eye won the set with a kill that was tipped out by BLHS.

“Unfortunately, we have had it happen a couple of times because we dig ourselves a hole with our passing — what we are having going for us is that the girls know that they are capable, they don’t get down and say this is impossible,” BHLS coach Lael Dornseif said.

The Mustangs gained energy in the early points of the second set with clean play and forcing the hitting errors on the Indians’ side of the court. BLHS broke away from an 8-8 tie and opened a comfortable lead before Sleepy Eye gained some momentum with consecutive kills from middle hitter Macy Schenk. Schenk had a solid night for the Indians, facing a very tough middle on the opposite side of the net.

The two teams traded scores, with each team winning the third and fourth sets by a score of 25-14. The Indians forced the Mustangs in a tight spot when they went up 2-1 with an 11-point victory in the third set.

BLHS caught the Indians and tied the game at 7-7 in the fifth set before Sleepy Eye could begin to pull away, headed towards a victory in their home court.

The Mustangs again evened the score at 14 on the hard-hit kill from Dean and was answered by a kill from Sleepy Eye’s McKenna Strong as Sleepy Eye came a point away from the victory, but the Indians couldn’t hold off BLHS.

Hoffmann led the Indians with eight kills and eight set assists, Flores went 26 for 26 at the service line with five aces and 10 set assists, Brittney Dittbenner had 26 digs and Maddie Krueger pulled up 19 digs.

Dean led the Mustangs with 12 kills and five blocks, Allison Dornseif had 14 set assist, Marissa Ebbers and Alyssa Petersen each had 23 digs.