Chargers edge Indians in Tomahawk

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Maddie Pearson attempts to block a shot from Sleepy Eye’s Brittney Dittbenner (1) Thursday at MVL.

NEW ULM — Minnesota Valley Lutheran continued where it left off on

Tuesday, with solid all-around play and another strong attack from Mara Weisensel and Haley Herfendal on Thursday night.

And despite a late surge by Sleepy Eye in the fourth set, the Chargers did enough to pick up a 3-1 win in Tomahawk Conference volleyball action. MVL won 21-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-19.

With the win, the Chargers moved to a perfect 3-0 start in conference play this season and 8-3 overall, while the Indians dropped to 0-2 in the conference and 3-6 overall.

Weisensel led the Chargers with 14 kills and two blocks, while Herfendal added 12 kills and seven digs. Maddie Pearson again had a nice night, setting up her MVL teammates with 42 set assists.

Pearson also added four aces and seven digs, while Lauren Paulsen had eight kills, 16 digs and three aces. Hannah Marzinske had eight kills, 16 digs and two blocks for the Chargers also.

“All the wheels were turning in the right direction, so it was a lot of fun,” MVL coach Amy Pearson said. “It’s just a lot of fun to watch the girls when they get into their rhythm. Our last couple matches have taken us about a game or so to get into that rhythm, so we’re trying to figure out how we can come out raring to go like we finished these last couple matches, but it’s a work in progress.”

Sleepy Eye took a 10-9 lead early in Set 1 after a kill by Brittney Dittbenner, who ended the night with eight kills, but the Chargers answered back with a pair of Herfendal kills for an 11-10 lead.

With the Chargers leading 21-20 after an ace by Abby Riesgraf, Sleepy Eye ended Set 1 on a 5-0 run for the win.

MVL looked stronger in the second set, going on a 6-0 run to lead 21-13.

A Herfendal kill and an ace by Riesgraf ended the second set.

Despite several early attack and serving errors by MVL in the third set, the Chargers were able to maintain a lead and close out the set on a 12-4 run for the win.

The fourth set saw the Chargers come out to a red-hot start, going on a 10-0 run to lead 10-0 and force a Sleepy Eye timeout. During the run, Weisensel added four kills and a block.

With MVL leading 21-6, the Indians continued to battle, going on a 13-3 run that was capped off with an ace by Madi Krueger to bring the Sleepy Eye deficit to 24-19. A quick kill by Paulsen ended the set though.

“We know we can play with them,” Sleepy Eye coach Sydney Geiger said.

“Obviously we played with them when we go four sets, so we just have to learn from it, move on because obviously we still have Wabasso to face, we still have St. Mary’s to play again. So we still have to bounce back and find a way to pick those up.”

Sleepy Eye was led by Macy Schenk, who had eight kills and three blocks, and Sandy Flores, who had 22 set assists and a pair of aces. Krueger also added 12 digs, while McKenna Strong had five kills, three aces and two blocks.

The Chargers host Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity on Monday in nonconference play, while Sleepy Eye is at Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s on Tuesday for a conference match.