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Spartz, Trojans ace Cardinals in volleyball clash

SMASHING SUCCESS — Fairmont hitter Cassidy Schultz (9) hammers a spike over the defense of Worthington setter Addison Gerber (5) during Big South Conference volleyball action Thursday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. The Cardinals’ Vanessa Bliesmer (1) and Brittney Mosloski (7) watch the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Worthington hitter Tarren Spartz and the visiting Trojans literally served a three-game Big South volleyball loss to the Fairmont Cardinals on Thursday night.

The 6-foot Spartz produced match-bests of seven aces and 16 points on 18-for-20 serving to complement 10 kills, while 6-1 middle spiker Ellie Weg pounded out match-leading marks of 13 kills and five blocks to pace the Trojans’ 25-14, 25-15, 25-11 sweep over the Cardinals.

“Our girls summed it up the best — Worthington was the real deal,” said Fairmont head coach Kim Breamer. “Their setter (Addison Gerber) did a great job of getting the ball to their two big hitters, and they put the shots away.”

Gerber, who distributed a match-best 23 set assists, opened the three-game match by demonstrating her prowess from the service area. Gerber assembled the first of Worthington’s four five-or-more-point surges from the end line on the night.

Gerber kept the scoreboard climbing to 7-0, with outside hitter Olivia Hayenga and Spartz delivering crunching spikes to fuel the uninterrupted string of points.

After a sideout created by a rare Trojan hitting error, Kynlie Anderson served three points in a row to inch the Cardinals within 8-4 before Weg unleashed a back-row kill to stem the comeback bid.

Spartz later delivered a momentum-swinging 8-0 service run, including six of the Trojans’ 15 aces on the match, to put Game 1 nearly out of reach at 17-5.

Cassidy Schultz pounded one of her seven kills off one of Anderson’s seven set assists for a Fairmont sideout to halt Spartz’s consecutive string, but it was too little, too late.

Madison Beckmann drilled a key kill off a perfect Gerber quick set to extend the Trojans’ margin to 24-14 before Gerber served up the game-winning point.

Brittney Mosloski smacked down three of her team-best eight kills during the early stages of Game 2 to keep Fairmont within striking distance at 6-all, but Worthington gradually built a double-digit lead on the strength of Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor’s subtle four-point service stint at 18-8. Spartz sparked the run with a two-handed swat on a Fairmont overpass and then a sizzling spike off a Gerber loft.

Mosloski and Schultz countered frontline firepower with Spartz to 20-12 before Weg took control of the air space above the net down the stretch. Weg cranked a pair of kills, with Hayenga adding another to put a 25-15 victory in the books.

Tarren Spartz triggered the Trojans’ early scoring eruption in Game 3 with a five-point service stint, with Weg delivering the offensive thunder from near the net for an 8-5 edge.

Kamryn Spartz then delivered a three-point service run before Weg contributed a five-point outburst to build a 17-8 Trojans’ lead.

Scheitel-Taylor contributed a four-point run from the end line to extend Worthington’s advantage to 22-8 before Gerber capped the sweep with back-to-back aces for the 25-11 win.

Grace Pendergast distributed eight set assists for Fairmont, while Vanessa Bliesmer contributed three kills to the hitting effort.

Beckmann tallied five kills for the Trojans, while Scheitel-Taylor finished 11 of 11 serving with eight points.

Fairmont (2-7-1) plays host to New Ulm on Tuesday night, while Worthington (4-3) competes in the Jackson County Central Invitational on Saturday in Jackson.

Worthington swept Fairmont in B-squad action, 25-20, 25-16, 15-12, Thursday night in Fairmont.

Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman 3, Mankato Loyola 0 — Ella Nagorske doled out a match-best 22 set assists and went 16 of 18 serving to help power the Jaguars to a 25-9, 25-20, 25-14 Valley Conference sweep over the Crusaders on Thursday night in Mankato.

Johnnie Zaharia smacked down a game-high nine kills for the Jaguars, Hayley Stensland distributed 10 set assists, while Katelyn Diegnau and Gracie Zaharia each tallied three blocks.

Kambria Steinhaus led the Jaguars’ defense by making nine digs, while Mariah Geistfeld generated two aces on 5-for-5 serving.

The Jaguars compete in the Maple River Invitational on Saturday in Mapleton.

Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 3, Martin County West 0 — The visiting Knights posted a 25-23, 25-20, 25-18 Valley Conference sweep over the Mavericks on Thursday night in Trimont.

No individual or team statistics were reported by either program.

Martin County West hits the road to Cleveland on Tuesday night.

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