Crusader volleyball on four-game win streak

Two victories last week over Hutchinson and Jordan have put the Mayer Lutheran volleyball team on a four-game win streak. The Crusaders are 6-2 so far this season and are 1-0 in the conference. Mayer Lutheran is currently ranked No. 5 in Class A.

Mayer 3, Hutchinson 0
Defeating Hutchinson 25-23, 25-23, and 25-15 on Sept. 4, head coach Joelle Grimsley said the Crusaders had a solid performance all around.

“We had some great long rallies with Hutch and both teams were playing scrappy defense,” she said.

The team was 61-73 serving (84 percent) and had 36 kills in 94 attempts (kill efficiency .340). Of the team’s 33 set assists, senior captain Ashlyn Hucky had 32 of them. Hucky also had five kills on the night. Senior captain Nico Schmidt (14) and junior Rachel Schmidt (12) led the team in kills. Sophomore Maria Kuntz (3), and seniors Kristen Mielke (2) and Christina Bruggman (2) also contributed kills.

Senior Anna Ernst had nearly half of the team’s 30 digs, cataloguing 12. She was also 9-10 serving. Junior Lauren Schroeder had eight digs, while Rachel Schmidt had an additional six. Mielke (3) and Bruggman (1) combined for four of the team’s six blocks.

Grimsley said the team is playing consistently thus far and hopes the team can continue that consistency as the competition heats up.

“There is some great team chemistry beginning and we just need to continue to play solid and keep our errors under control,” she said.

Mayer 3, Jordan 1
Winning in four sets against No. 8 (2A) Jordan, Grimsley said the team played with focused intensity on Sept. 6.

Serving was 89-97 (86 percent), while the Crusader offense had 53 kills in 110 attempts (kill efficiency .409) and 40 set assists. Hucky had 36 of the 40 set assists, as well as five kills.

Grimsley said the Crusaders worked hard to continue to feed the ball to Hucky, who runs an effective offense.

“We want to use the entire net in our offense and in order to do that we have got to pass that ball up,” Grimsley said. “We did a better job at that tonight so we were able to include our middles a bit more.”

Hucky had a strong serving game, going 17-17 that night. Also serving strong games were Nico Schmidt (7-7), Rachel Schmidt (23-25, three aces), Schroeder (16-17), and Kuntz (9-9). Nico Schmidt led with 23 kills, followed by Rachel Schmidt (14), Mielke (9), and Kuntz (2). Defensively, the Crusaders tallied 39 digs and five blocks, four of which came from Mielke and Nico Schmidt. With 15 digs, Ernst led the Crusaders, followed by Rachel Schmidt (7), Schroeder (7), and Nico Schmidt (4).