Luverne outslugs MCW in 3 games

HOVERING — Martin County West’s Emma Behrends (on floor) makes a diving dig that hovers closely to the antenna during nonconference volleyball action Monday night in Trimont. Maverick teammates, from left, Maia Taylor, Karlee Thiesse, Madison Klima, Renae Eckmann and Cheyenne Owens, along with Luverne’s Sierra Schmuck (back right) and Greta Ahrendt, anxiously await the volleyball’s descension. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

TRIMONT — Alexis Ferrell proved herself as a Division I volleyball recruit on Monday night. The 6-foot-2 senior Luverne hitter racked up 14 kills and three blocks to power the Cardinals to a 25-23, 25-19, 25-20 non-league win over Martin County West.

“I stressed to these girls that we have that great player, but we have to have everybody to make it work and to make her work,” Luverne head coach Susie Bork said about Ferrell.

Middle hitter Karlee Thiesse provided the Mavericks with two points for a 3-1 advantage in Game 1 until Ferrell took over.

With the score tied at 9, Maverick outside hitter Emma Behrends netted her serve to turn the ball over. Setter Sierra Schmuck put up three of her 14 assists for Ferrell and Ferrell came up with a crucial block as the Cardinals outscored the Mavericks 6-1 for the 15-10 advantage.

A final Schmuck-Ferrell connection and an out-of-bounds Mavericks hit were the game-deciding points as the Cardinals took the first game, 25-23.

Luverne setter Tacey Baustian, who doled out 11 assists, lobbed up a kill for middle hitter Greta Ahrendt to give the team a one-point advantage at 9-8. Mavericks outside hitter Renae Eckmann, who topped MCW with 10 kills, knocked down a sideout to tie the game, but Ferrell swooped in on a Schmuck assist for the kill, putting her at the service line.

Ferrell later opted for a softer touch with a tip kill after a Mavericks’ hitting error for the 12-9 Cardinals advantage.

Setter Maia Taylor served the Mavericks to a four-point lead, but hitting errors put the Cardinals back on top. Ferrell iced the game with back-to-back kills to give Luverne a 2-0 match lead.

Ferrell continued to dominate, getting the Cardinals out to an 18-14 lead in the third game. Ahrendt, who finished with seven kills added two consecutive kills with assists from Baustian before two Mavericks hitting miscues ended the match.

“The one goal we had was that even though it’s Luverne, who’s (Class) AA and we are A, we need to be able to rise up to that challenge,” Mavericks head coach Kayla Zehms said. “We need to play at the level of competition that is being brought to us here in the gym, and I thought that they did that.”

Behrends and Lexie Lange produced nine kills each and Taylor provided the Mavericks with 19 assists.

Martin County West (13-10) plays at Cleveland tonight, while Luverne (17-4) plays host to Adrian.