MVL defeats LCWM

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Lake Crystal-Wellcome-Memorial’s Carson Stock (2) tries to block a spike from Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Mara Weisensel (5) Monday at MVL.

NEW ULM — Minnesota Valley Lutheran is off to an improved start this year after beginning its volleyball season 4-6 last year, moving to 7-3 overall after a 3-1 nonconference victory over Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial on Monday night.

The Chargers won 25-19, 18-25, 25-18, 25-14.

A steady attack is one reason for the quality start to the season.

Juniors Mara Weisensel and Haley Herfendal have stepped up this year with their attack, and their efforts certainly paid off on Monday.

Weisensel led the Chargers on Monday with 18 kills and eight blocks, while Herfendal added eight kills, four aces and 26 digs.

“I think we really did well,” Weisensel said of the team’s play on Monday. “We struggled in the beginning, but once we got our momentum, it really just started to get a lot better. It was a fun game.”

MVL took a back-and-forth first set after a kill and an ace by Herfendal, but things got rough for the Chargers in Set 2. Three straight MVL errors had the Knights off to a 3-0 start before MVL climbed back to lead 5-3 after an ace by Herfendal and a LCWM attack error.

A 5-4 lead would be the last lead the Chargers had in Set 2.

MVL picked things up in Set 3 and went on an 8-1 run to lead 17-10, led by a trio of kills in a row by Herfendal.

What caused the turnaround for MVL?

“We just got really fired up,” Herfendal said.

Lauren Paulsen added the final point in Set 3 after a soft-touch set over the net.

A block by Paulsen gave the Chargers an early 13-8 lead in Set 4, forcing the Knights to burn a timeout. MVL continued its run, though, going on a 5-0 run at one point to lead 19-10 and force another LCWM timeout.

During the run, Weisensel had a kill and a block, Hannah Marzinske had a kill and Herfendal added an ace. After another pair of kills by Weisensel after the LCWM timeout, MVL wrapped things up shortly after.

Paulsen had nine kills and 16 digs for the Chargers, while Maddie Pearson had 42 set assists and 12 digs. Marzinske had eight kills and 28 digs.

MVL continues play at home in a Tomahawk Conference meeting with Sleepy Eye on Thursday.

Weisensel said that aside from keeping a strong attack going Thursday, she thinks the team needs to work on communicating more.

“I think we need to work on communication a bit more,” Weisensel said.

“There’s a few things we could work on in every area.”

Herfendal added that covering hitters and staying low was also something the team needed to improve for Thursday.