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Eisenmenger, Miller propel Fairmont volleyball over MCW

HAMMER TIME — Fairmont’s Nevaeh Rahm (22) spikes the volleyball between Martin County West blockers Meia Schuett (left) and Ella Carlson (10) during non-league volleyball action Thursday night in Fairmont. The Cardinals’ Grace Pendergast (5) and Ellie Ortega (second from right), along with Maverick libero Courtney Anderson (far right) watch the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Fairmont’s Danika Eisenmenger played a big role to help Cardinals’ head coach Liz Lowry earn her first win as a varsity coach on Thursday night.

The Cardinals volleyball team beat the Martin County West Mavericks 25-21, 13-25, 25-14, 25-17 in Fairmont.

Eisenmenger had five serving aces and was 18-of-20 serving in the win.

“That is why Danika is one of our team captains,” Lowry said. “She played well and was a leader on the court. Her play helped the other girls sustain their high energy.

“The girls were focused. They really wanted it tonight and you could see the intensity in their play. They got to every loose ball and made some big plays tonight. It was a nice win for us.”

“We didn’t play with any energy or consistency and it showed,” MCW head coach Kayla Zehms said.

The Mavericks and Cardinals last played Saturday, Aug. 26.

The Mavericks played in the Adrian/Ellsworth Tournament, beating Central Minnesota Christian and Hills-Beaver Creek, plus losing to Adrian/Ellsworth.

Fairmont opened its season by losing to Luverne in the Big South Conference Showcase at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont.

Fairmont maintained a slim lead throughout Game 1 and Brylee Miller’s serving ace gave the Cardinals the win.

The Mavericks rebounded from a close Game 1 defeat to decisively win Game 2.

Addy Wohlhuter was leading the way offensively for the Mavericks with her crisp passing with Emily Anderson, Maddie Carlson and Camryn Clow recording multiple kills in Game 2.

In Game 3, the Cardinals were able to run out to a double-digit lead at 18-8. The Mavericks never recovered.

Fairmont’s Meredith Nemmers and Nevaeh Rahm each collected a couple of kills that helped the Cardinals build the big lead.

Gabby Leiding’s four straight service points late in the game put the Cardinals on the cusp of the win. Eisenmenger’s kill gave the home team its 25th point and the win in Game 3.

The Mavericks played with more energy in Game 4, but miscues allowed the Cardinals to once again take control of the game, leading 18-10.

Miller’s back-to-back service points, including an ace, put the Cardinals ahead 23-13.

Fairmont earned a side-out and once again Gabby Leiding served the winning point as a Maverick miscue won the game for the Cardinals as it evened its record at 1-1.

Miller had a team-high nine kills and Grace Pendergast had 20 set assists to lead the Cardinals.

Emily Anderson also had nine kills for the Mavericks, while Wohlhuter had 14 set assists for the Mavericks.

Miller served 16-of-19 with three aces for Fairmont and Pendergast was 15-of-17 serving.

For MCW, Emily Anderson and Maddie Carlson were each 14-of-14 serving to lead the team.

The Mavericks (2-2) are off until Saturday, Sept. 9, when they travel to Mapleton for the Maple River Invitational.

Fairmont (1-1) return to the court the Tuesday after Labor Day when they host St. Peter at Cardinal Gym.

United South Central 3, Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman 0 — The host United South Central Rebels swept the Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman Jaguars in non-league play, 25-18, 26-2, 25-18 on Thursday night in Wells.

Brianna Petrowiak hammered a team-high seven kills and teammate Londyn Bowers added three more spike-winners for the Jaguars.

Keira Benck went 13-of-14 serving with one ace for the purple-and-white attack, while Bowers supplied 14-of-18 serving with five for aces.

Lindsey Diegnau distributed nine set assists and Benck added six assists to lead the Jaguars’ offense.

On defense for the Jaguars, Madisen Lewis and Olivia Mattson contributed four and three blocks, respectively, while Ashley Singleton and Bowers each helped pace the defense with 10 digs.

The Jaguars (0-3) travel to battle the New Richland Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers on Tuesday in New Richland.

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