Cougars hold off Greyhounds for 4-set win

Photo courtesy of Don Borstad New Ulm Cathedral’s Shay Wilfahrt attacks the ball during a Tomahawk Conference volleyball match with Cedar Mountain on Tuesday at Cathedral High School.

NEW ULM — Cedar Mountain defeated New Ulm Cathedral 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 26-24 on Tuesday in a Tomahawk Conference volleyball match.

Both teams came into the match with nearly identical records in both overall matches and in conference play.

Their on-court play reflected that and it was a true battle from beginning to end. They went toe-to-toe on every play for every point in every set.

“It was a very exciting night,” Cedar Mountain head coach Beth Hill said. “Absolutely. It was a hard fought battle by both teams.”

Hill noted that playing in the Tomahawk Conference means every team has to come ready to play every night.

There were nine ties in the first set. Cathedral held the lead for roughly one-half of the set. CM held the lead for the second half. Cedar Mountain’s Kendra Erickson’s two-handed tip tied it at 22-22. Cathedral hit the ball into the net which made it 23-22 for Cedar Mountain. Cloey Wildt and Hailey Hollar got a double block at the net. A Cathedral defender tried to return the ball, but she was unable to do so.

The set set was another close one. Cathedral took the lead halfway through the set. Later, a soft tip by the Greyhounds’ front line made it 23-18 for the Greyhounds. Two plays later, Erickson set up Reagyn Kleinschmidt for a kill that was cut Cathedral’s lead to 23-21.Madelyn Haala’s dig to Kiah Helget who delivered a kill, which made it 24-21 Cathedral. Cedar Mountain was unable to return the ball and that gave Cathedral the set.

The third set was a “comfortable” one for the Cougars because they grabbed the lead very early in the set and kept the Greyhounds at bay. Kenley Schiller’s dig and tip made it 23-19 for the Cougars. A Greyhound defender hit the ball out of bounds which brought the Cougars closer to the winning the set. Another miscue by Cathedral at the net gave the set to Cedar Mountain.

How would Cathedral respond being two by two sets? That was the question that Set 4 answered.

Cathedral’s Jaylin Hartness bumped the ball to Madelyn Haala, who set up Hotovec for a kill midway through the fourth set. That play made it 14-10 for Cathedral. After Cedar Mountain got the lead, 18-17, Haala set up Margo Finstad, who earned a kill and tied it at 18-18. Cathedral held the lead until it hit the ball out of bounds. That tied it at 24-24.

Back-to-back unforced errors by the Greyhounds gave the Cougars their final 2 points to take the set and the match.

“We have a lot of girls who have played on varsity for a lot of years,” Hill said. “I’m proud of the girls for their composure down the line and their ability to make the big plays to give us the win.”

Aubrey Steffl had 14 digs and 12 kills for Cedar Mountain. Erickson had 27 set assists. Lauren Barringer had 13 digs and Hollar had 11 digs.

Shay Wilfahrt had 12 kills, 12 digs and two blocks for Cathedral. Hotovec had nine kills and 21 digs and Jaylin Hartness had 31 digs.

CM (15-6, 6-2) will host Martin County West on Tuesday in its regular season finale. Cathedral (13-9, 3-4) will host Springfield on Friday.


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