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Knights shut down Indians in 3

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau Sleepy Eye St. Marys’ Allie Labat tips the ball past Sleepy Eye’s Brea Mertz during a Tomahawk Conference volleyball match at Sleepy Eye High School on Thursday.

SLEEPY EYE — Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s ended its cross-town battle with Sleepy Eye early on Thursday night, downing the Indians 25-8, 25-19, 25-13 in Tomahawk Conference volleyball action.

Madison Mathiowetz led the still-unbeaten Knights (12-0, 4-0) with 16 kills, 11 digs and four ace serves.

After the Knights dropped their first set of the season to Minnesota Valley Lutheran this past Tuesday, they rebounded in a big way at the expense of their cross-town and conference rivals.

“Coming into this game off of that set loss, which was good for us, it just kind of gave us our momentum back, got us into a groove,” Mathiowetz said. “We went through practice yesterday and figured out what we didn’t have on Tuesday night, and we came and brought it tonight and we finished it out.”

Also for the Knights, Bella Hoffmann had 20 set assists, six digs and two aces and Jaci Domeier had seven kills, nine digs and two blocks. Julia Helget added five kills and 10 digs, Allie Labat had 13 set assists and four aces and Katelyn Rutscher had four kills and three blocks.

For Sleepy Eye (4-8-1, 0-5), Kaydence Hesse had five kills, four blocks and 10 digs, while Brea Mertz had five kills and seven digs. Priscilla Martinez added five set assists and six digs for the Indians, while Brooke Arneson had eight digs.

The Knights started the first set with their foot on the gas, jumping out to a 12-0 lead before the Indians could get on the board after an error. During the 12-0 run, the Knights got three kills from Mathiowetz and an ace and kill from Hoffmann.

The Indians’ first kill of the set was from sophomore Lydia Huiras, which made the score 21-4. The Knights ended the set on a kill by Rutscher.

The Indians were much more competitive in the second set, coming back from a 5-point deficit early on to trail 9-8. After Hesse blocked an attack from Mathiowetz to have the Indians down 11-10, Mathiowetz fired back with back-to-back kills before a kill by Reagan Severson put the Knights up 14-10. An ace by Mathiowetz put the Knights up 19-12, but the Indians cut their deficit down to 19-16. That was the closest they’d get, though, in the second set.

The third set saw Hesse collect a kill and a block back-to-back to have Sleepy Eye down 12-8. Hesse added another block to have Sleepy Eye down 16-10, but the Knights kept it clean after that on their way to a 25-13 win in Set 3, with a block from Domeier ending the set and match.

The Knights travel to take on Hills-Beaver Creek on Monday in nonconference action, while Sleepy Eye hosts Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop for a conference match on Tuesday.

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