Knights storm past Raiders in 3

File photo by Steve Muscatello Madison Mathiowetz of Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s hits the ball during a recent match in Sleepy Eye.

NICOLLET — Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s made quick work of Nicollet 25-13, 25-21 and 25-16 on Monday in a nonconference volleyball match.

“I was proud of our energy,” St. Mary’s head coach Jen Walter said. “We played well, served well and we were aggressive.”

Both teams played even for most of the first set. There were five ties and Nicollet briefly held the led Reagan Severson had two consecutive ace serves during a 10-0 run by the Knights. St. Marys’ front line dropped the ball between some Raider defenders to start the run. A combination of Nicollet mistakes and solid defense by St. Mary’s were key ingredients for the run. A kill by St. Mary’s and a missed return by Nicollet were the final 2 points of the set.

The Knights grabbed the lead early in the second set. They slowly pulled away from Nicollet with timely returns, solid defense and remaining aggressive.

Severson’s serve hit the net, which gave Nicollet a point and brought it within 2 points. St. Mary’s earned the final points on two Nicollet unforced errors, a solid front-line block and a soft drop for the final point.

The Knights jumped out to the lead in the third set. Nicollet refused to quit as it clawed back into the set, tying it up four times. Nicollet earned the final tie when a Knight knocked the ball out of bounds.

St. Mary’s responded with a 7-0 run. The Knights remained focused by taking advantage of a few Nicollet mistakes and earning timely points. Severson’s serve dropped inbounds, making it 24-16. A Nicollet player hit the ball into the net for the set and match win.

Jill Thompson led Nicollet with 36 attacks, 11 digs and 11 kills. Marah Hulke had six kills.

Allie Labat led the Knights with 15 set assists, five digs and two kills. Madison Mathiowetz added five digs, nine kills, nine set assists and one block. Lauren Hoffmann had six digs and Sydney Windschitl added eight digs with one kill.

St. Mary’s (4-2) will host New Ulm Cathedral on Tuesday. Nicollet (1-2) will play at Alden-Conger on Tuesday.