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Cathedral knocks off St. Mary’s in 3 sets

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Reagan Severson (4) of Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s tries to block a spike from New Ulm Cathedral’s Maggie Fliszar (11) Tuesday in Sleepy Eye.

SLEEPY EYE — After going 1-4 at the Westbrook-Walnut Grove Invitational this past weekend, New Ulm Cathedral looked to get back on track on Tuesday against Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s.

Not only did the Greyhounds get back on track and pick up a much-needed win, they did so decisively with a 25-23, 25-12, 25-15 win in nonconference volleyball action at St. Mary’s High School.

The Greyhounds only trailed once on Tuesday early in the first set. While the Greyhounds were still without their standout middle hitter Sarah Mohr due to an ankle injury, nobody watching would have known it with how aggressive the Greyhounds were against the Knights.

“This was good for us,” Cathedral head coach Becky Wilfahrt said of the sweep. “Saturday we had a lot of close games, we were short-handed, we had three people out and every game I think our margin of loss was 4 points. So we were just talking about on Saturday — learning how to finish a game. So I was happy to see tonight, we struggled a little bit in that first one but then they got in that groove and stayed aggressive, and that’s what we’ve been pushing them to do.”

Mohr has a slight chance to return to game action this Thursday.

Maggie Fliszar led the aggressive Greyhounds with 17 kills and 13 digs, while Megan Haala and Sydnee Helget had eight kills apiece. Also for Cathedral, Emily Schommer had 28 set assists and 10 digs, while Lily Franta had 10 digs and four ace serves.

Knights head coach Jen Walter echoed Wilfahrt’s thoughts on how aggressive the Greyhounds were, which made it tough for St. Mary’s to get much of anything going.

“I think what I noticed overall from this Cathedral team is that they can attack the ball from anywhere,” Walter said. “They were just more aggressive at the net than we were. I think we played a little safe and tight. We were scrambling, we were definitely the ones trying to catch up tonight.”

The Knights were led by Madison Mathiowetz, who had six kills, eight digs and three set assists, while Trista Ibberson had 10 digs and a pair of kills. Lauren Hoffmann also had nine digs and two ace serves for the Knights.

While the Knights stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the first set after a Cathedral error, an ace serve from Allie Labat, a kill from Mathiowetz and a kill from Madesen Roberts, the Greyhounds stayed with it and began to pick up their attack. Cathedral got a 9-0 run in the middle of the set, being led by a trio of kills from Fliszar and an ace serve by Schommer for a 14-8 lead.

The Knights managed to hang with the Greyhounds and tied it twice, once at 22-all on an attack error and once at 23-all on a kill from Ibberson, but the Greyhounds ended the set shortly after.

Cathedral carried its momentum into the second set and took an early 8-1 lead, getting two kills and a block from Helget to lead the early charge. Cathedral then had Fliszar pick up her attack with a trio of kills in the middle of the set to help give the Greyhounds a 19-8 lead and force a Knights timeout.

The Knights got a kill each from Ibberson and Roberts and a pair of blocks from Mathiowetz after the timeout, but the lead was too big to catch up to.

The third set saw more of the same from Cathedral, with Haala getting a pair of early ace serves to help put her squad up 6-1. The Knights cut their deficit to 10-8 after that, but that was the closest they got from there out.

The two teams will meet again later this season in Tomahawk Conference action.

The Greyhounds (3-7) next travel to Morgan to take on Cedar Mountain in a conference match at 7 p.m. Thursday, while the Knights (8-4) travel to Minnesota Valley Lutheran for a conference match at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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