Mavericks spike out Section 2A volleyball victory

CRUSHIN’ IT — Martin County West hitter Bella Lange (11) hammers the volleyball by Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey blockers Kyla Wuertz (6) and Jaci Tollefson (3) during Section 2A, Round 1 playoff action Thursday night in Trimont. The Wolverines’ Isabella Vidana (7) looks on. (Photo by Greg Abel)

TRIMONT — The No. 3-seeded Martin County West Mavericks’ volleyball team gave its head coach Kayla Zehms a great birthday gift on Thursday night.

The Mavericks beat the No. 6-seeded Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey Wolverines, 20-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-17, in a Section 2A, Round 1 match in Trimont.

“Switching rotations and calling timeouts at the right time were keys to our victory,” Zehms said. “We played very well tonight.”

Martin County West (14-14) advances to face No. 2-seeded Cedar Mountain at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night in sectional quarterfinal match at St. Peter High School. Cedar Mountain eliminated No. 7-seeded Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 3-0 in its match on Thursday night.

Martin County West defeated Cedar Mountain in a two-game stint during an Oct. 1 tournament played at Maple River.

“We played Cedar Mountain in a tournament earlier in the season and beat them, but that doesn’t mean anything at this time of the year,” Zehms said.

The Mavericks came out of the gate flat as the Wolverines were the more aggressive team and won Game 1 by five points. It was tied 13-all and 19-all before the Wolverines scored six of the final seven points.

The Wolverines’ Kearney Wall served the final two points to lift the team to the Game 1 win. In addition for Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey, Jaci Tollefson surpassed career set assist 1,000 as announced by head coach Daniel Hup between Games 1 and 2.

The Mavericks regrouped and turned the momentum their way during Games 2, 3 and 4.

“We never let them regain the momentum and that helped us,” Zehms said.

Every time the Wolverines looked like the momentum could shift after they earned a point or two, Zehms would call a timeout. The strategy worked to perfection.

In Game 2, the Mavericks’ Emily Anderson pounded five kills and had a four-point serving streak that set the tone.

The combination of Grace Bicknase setting to Anderson worked wonders as the Mavericks won Game 2 to even the match at 1 game apiece.

Anderson once again was on her serving game in Game 3, collecting nine straight points to help the Mavericks grab an 11-5 lead and they never looked back. Anderson had two aces during the nine-point run.

The Wolverines committed several unforced errors in Game 3, allowing the Maverick to win it going away and get within one game from winning the match and advancing.

Game 4 was another relatively easy victory for the Mavericks as their defense turned up the heat.

Lucy Larson, Marah Steele, Bicknase and Anderson led the way defensively, digging out the Wolverine kill attempts.

The Mavericks’ net play throughout Game 4 was also a key as the Mavericks were able to win another game going away to advance in the sectional tournament.

Tollefson paced the Wolverines with 26 set assists and Paige McMullen dished out a team-high 11 kills.

For the Mavericks, Bicknase finished with a team-high 27 set assists to help the hitting trio of Anderson, Larson and Bella Lange collect 12, 10 and seven kills, respectively.

Anderson also was 23 of 24 serving, while Bicknase was 22 of 25 serving for the Mavericks.

On the defensive end, Anderson led the Mavericks with 18 digs, while Larson had 17 digs, Aspen Kosbab had 16, Steele had 15 and Bicknase had 14.

Lange had six block attempts and five solo blocks to lead Martin County West’s effort.

Section 2AA

Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 3, Blue Earth Area 1 — The No. 3-seeded Knights rallied from a Game 1 loss to down the No. 6-seeded Bucs, 24-26, 25-17, 25-14, 25-19, during Section 2AA, Round 1 action Thursday night in Lake Crystal.

LCWM advances to face No. 2-seeded Waterville-Elysian-Morristown in a 7:45 p.m. sectional quarterfinal on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Mankato East.

WEM swept St. Clair, 3-0, to gain the next playoff round.

Hailey Becker tallied five kills, doled out seven set assists and scored 10 points, including four aces, on 14 of 17 serving to top Blue Earth Area, which ended the season with a 9-16 overall record.

Alicia Machacek pounded 11 kills, Eloise Blair made 25 digs and Haley Kalis distributed 14 set assists for the Bucs.

Taylor Klabunde produced seven digs and scored 10 points, including three aces, on 14-for-18 serving for Blue Earth Area, Kylee Eckmann spiked four kills, while Katherine Armon collected seven digs and notched seven points, including two aces, on 10 of 12 serving.


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