FAIRMONT - The New Ulm Eagles volleyball team came back from a 19-12 deficit in Game 4 to clinch the 25-23, 25-23, 9-25, 27-25 victory over the Fairmont Cardinals in South Central Conference action on Thursday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont.
After the Eagles took a 2-0 game lead with matching 25-23 scores, the Cardinals came back and extended the match to a fourth game with a 25-9 win in Game 3.
"We switched up our rotation in the third game to give us better matchups at the net," said Fairmont head coach Brad Haugen. "That's how we jumped out to a lead quick, and then we held on to it."
GETTING DEFENSIVE — Fairmont’s Haley Harder (middle) digs up a New Ulm spike as teammates Kristen Campe (right) and Sydney Glienke (left) look on during conference volleyball action Thursday in Fairmont. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Kersten Shantz and Madison Geerdes teamed up to block Eagles' setter Alley Grejtak's tip attempt early in the third game to give the Cardinals a 5-2 lead.
With Sydney Glienke back at the service line, she fired one of her two aces in the match to put Fairmont up 6-2 before a Cardinal attack into the net sent the ball back to the Eagles.
The Eagles were unable to get their offense going, recording four hits on their next possession, putting the ball into the hands of Geerdes at the service line.
Geerdes started out a four-point run for Fairmont with an ace, before Emily Kim doled out one of her 30 set assists to Courtney Mosloski - who crushed the ball to the floor to put the Cardinals ahead 9-3.
A passing error by the Eagles off Geerdes' serve, coupled with one of Kayla Lardy's team-leading 15 kills on a Kim assist, created an 11-3 edge for Fairmont.
Then Geerdes, who added five kills to the Cardinal offense in the match, fired another ace to continue the scoring run.
The Eagles managed a sideout on one of Lizzie Rummel's attacks off a Grejtak assist, but Lardy responded by pushing a set into the back corner on the next point to make it 13-4.
Glienke, who scattered six kills in the match for Fairmont, was then able to cap the win for the Cardinals scorching an ace to take the 25-9 win.
"I think changing the rotation in the third game really helped us. We had been close in the previous games but couldn't put the hammer down," said Haugen. "That game we were able to finish it off."
Unfortunately for Fairmont, it was unable to finish off the match. After Lardy tipped a floater down to take the 19-12 lead, the Eagles charged back to overtake the game.
Grejtak served up a pair of aces for the Eagles cut the deficit down to 19-15, before Shantz recorded one of her four kills in the match with a tip to put Fairmont up 20-15.
Geerdes rotated to the service line, but sent the serve into the net for the Eagles.
Both teams traded points, with the Eagles getting within four at 24-20 thanks to to a Bailey Hofmeister attack off a Grejtak set assist.
Ellie Schneider then continued to chip away with a kill cross court from the left to make it 24-21.
A combination of Cardinal errors and two ace serves by Tori Botten gave the Eagles a 25-24 lead, their first of the game, but Mosloski fired two hard swings and put down one of her nine kills in the match to even the score at 25-25.
"We have had a long stretch of games without many practices in between," said Haugen. "Tonight that showed because we made too many errors, to keep us from finishing out the games. Thankfully after this week we will have a good string of practices to work on those things."
Schneider smacked a Botten assist to the floor to go up 26-25, and then the Eagles grabbed the 27-25 win when Lardy's back row attack on a Kim assist went into the net.
Fairmont (4-10, 3-4 SCC) hosts Worthington in a nonconference match at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Fairmont.
New Ulm (8-8-1, 6-1 SCC) hosts Marshall in a nonconference match at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Fairmont outlasted the New Ulm Eagles 26-28, 25-20, 15-12 during B-squad volleyball action on Thursday.
Tieryn Arens added a pair of kills, made a team-leading 16 digs and three ace blocks while going 11-for-13 from the service line with a pair of aces.
Alyssa Westcott doled out 10 set assists, made five klls and eight digs in addition to going 12-for-14 serving with an ace.
Payton Walser recorded eight digs and two kills, while Katelynn Noah tallied three kills and five digs, going 12-for-13 serving with four aces in the win.
The St. James Saints made a comeback to beat the Fairmont Cardinals 26-28, 25-21, 15-10 in B-squad volleyball action on Tuesday in St. James.
Walser made recorded eight digs, smacked four kills, went 12-for-13 serving with five aces and tallied three solo blocks for Fairmont.
Tahnisha Jimenez made 21 digs and recorded three kills, while Westcott doled out 13 set assists, made four digs and had a pair of aces.
Erika Kim and Sarah Tschumperlin each recorded 13 digs and two aces in the match.
Jackson County Central claimed the 25-16, 25-27, 15-10 victory over the Cardinals during B-squad action on Monday in Jackson.
Arens made six digs and blasted two kills, while Noah added two digs, two kills, two blocks and scorched a pair of aces for Fairmont.
Westcott distributed 10 set assists and went a perfect 10-for-10 serving with one ace, while making three digs.
Walser added four digs and six kills for Fairmont along with a pair of aces in going 8-for-9 serving.
The New Ulm Eagles blanked the Cardinals 25-11, 25-18 during C-squad volleyball action on Thursday in Fairmont.
Steph Kalas went 6-for-6 serving, while Marissa Krzywicki went a perfect 7-for-7 from the serving line.
Emma Ward doled out five set assists in the match.
St. James 3, Blue Earth Area 0 - Julia Beckius produced a match-best 15 kills to help engineer the St. James Saints' 25-15, 25-19, 25-18 victory over the Blue Earth Area Bucs during South Central Conference volleyball action on Thursday night in Blue Earth.
Beckius also connected on 13 of 14 serves to generate two aces, while supplying eight digs on defense.
Emily Bottem distributed a match-leading 29 set assists for the Saints, Allison Brandts and Liz Reckow each delivered eight kills, while Brenda Cervantes chipped in one ace behind a 12-for-12 serving effort.
Audrey McDonald tallied seven kills to top the Bucs' effort on the night. McDonald also made 13 digs and generated seven points, including a pair of aces, on 12-for-12 serving.
Ciarra Olson registered a match-high seven aces en route to 12 points behind a 17-for-19 serving performance for Blue Earth Area. Olson also made five kills and eight digs.
Setter Nicole Krinke doled out 12 assists and chipped in three kills for the Bucs, while Elizabeth Ellis and Sam Ripley added two and one block, respectively.
Blue Earth Area (2-12, 0-7 SCC) plays host to the Buc Invitational at 9 a.m. today in Blue Earth.
Martin County West 3, Cleveland 0 - Kate Thiesse's 14 kills, four digs, one block and one ace serve helped the Mavericks to blank the Clippers 25-15, 25-14, 25-15 and stay undefeated in the Valley Conference on Thursday night in Cleveland.
Hailey Leiding also was in the double digits, scoring 10 kills in addition to two blocks and one dig for the Mavericks.
Jordan Gregory sizzled seven kills and made four digs, while McKenna Taylor tallied four kills and made two blocks in the win.
Reilly Geistfeld had two kills and two digs for the Mavericks, while Molly Klima made seven digs.
Kennedy Janssen doled out 26 set assists, making four digs on defense, along with Autumn Smith and Haley Jensen who made four and three digs, respectively.
Martin County West (14-4, 6-0 Valley) competes in the Blue Earth Area Invitational on Saturday in Blue Earth.
Maple River 3, Martin Luther/ Granada-Huntley-East Chain 1 - The Eagles hung on to defeat the Knights 25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 25-22 in Valley Conference action on Thursday in Northrop.
Amber Schulz recorded 10 kills and 13 digs, while Hunter Payne distributed 21 set assists for the Knights.
Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain (2-12, 1-3 Valley) travels for a nonconference match against Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton on Tuesday in Janesville.
Mankato Loyola 3, Truman 0 - The Crusaders remained undefeated in the Valley Conference with a 25-3, 25-15, 25-18 win over the Bluejays on Thursday in Mankato.
Emily Zaharia smashed four kills and made 15 digs, while Alexis Jahnz made 14 digs in addition to recording four kills.
Cydney Kilian dispensed 20 set assists and made five digs, Courtney Zaharia tallied four kills and seven digs, while Stephanie Jahnz made eight digs for the Bluejays.
Truman (3-12-1, 1-6 Valley) hosts St. Clair on Tuesday night.