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Tigers down Chargers with sweep

File photo by Travis Rosenau Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Emma Rodewald sets the ball during an early-season home match at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School.

NEW ULM — Springfield swept Minnesota Valley Lutheran on Tuesday 25-17, 26-24, 25-20 in a Tomahawk Conference volleyball match at MVL High School.

“Our defense played strong tonight,” Springfield head coach Tiffany Pierson said. “There are a lot of leaders on the team, the girls get along well and they communicate well with each other.”

Pierson also said that so far this season, the Tigers have not been able to win the first set. She said that winning the first set usually leads to good things.

Victoria Roiger had 12 set assists for the Tigers, while Haley Runck had seven set assists and five kills. Bree Rasmussen added 11 digs and Brooklyn Sturm had nine kills, nine digs and four blocks. Jalivia Richert had seven set assists with five kills.

Kaylee Hunter led the Chargers with 16 set assists, while Samantha Dalueg added 13 set assists with 13 digs. Lili Mohror had 11 kills and four blocks also for MVL, while Ella Schlei had seven kills with three blocks. Abbie Riederer added seven kills and 12 digs.

The entire match was competitive from start to finish. During the first set alone, there were nine ties and five lead changes. Neither team led by more than 6 points.

Springfield and MVL went back and forth early on. The Tigers managed to earn a 6-point advantage on a tip over the net at 22-16. MVL then scored on a tip over the net. Springfield’s front line responded on the next series of volleys, culminating with a double block by the front line. MVL knocked the ball out of bounds, giving Springfield the set point.

Momentum was a precious commodity. When one team appeared to have it, the other one took it right back by either making good defensive plays, responding by keeping the ball in play or, sometimes, both teams would make a mistake.

The trend of things being close continued into the second set. Whenever one team would grab the advantage, the other one would battle back. Late in the set, the Chargers got a block to tie it at 24-24. Springfield was able to drop the ball inbounds to take a 25-24 lead. MVL knocked the ball out of play on the next rally for the final set point.

In the third set, MVL led only once — and that was at the start of it. MVL was able to get a soft tip over the net for the Chargers’ lone lead. MVL made a number of mistakes throughout the third set, which hurt its chances of staging a comeback. MVL was able to tie it one last time at 6-6. After that, the Tigers were able to keep one step ahead of the Chargers and win.

MVL (2-6, 0-1) will play at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop (1-3, 0-1) on Thursday. Springfield (5-4, 2-0) will host Wabasso (4-5, 0-2) on Thursday.

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