The No. 5 (1A) Mayer Lutheran volleyball team has won its last five matches to improve to 16-4 this season. The Crusaders currently lead the Minnesota River Conference with a 5-0 conference record, but are closely trailed by No. 4 (2A) Belle Plaine at 6-1 and No. 8 (2A) LeSueur-Henderson at 5-2.
The Crusaders improved to 5-0 in the conference after a 3-0 win over Sibley East on Oct. 4. Winning 25-15, 25-17, and 25-15, head coach Joelle Grimsley said the team was hungry to play after a week of practice.
“We played with an overall high intensity level with a few blips here and there,” she said.
As a team, the Crusaders collected 10 aces, 45 kills, 43 set assists, 19 digs, and eight blocks. Serving was 67-74. Each Crusader had a quality serving night and included junior Lauren Schroeder (9-9, two aces), junior Jessi Grimsley (9-10, two aces), senior Nico Schmidt (10-10, four aces), senior Ashlyn Hucky (8-9), sophomore Maria Kuntz (8-10), junior Rachel Schmidt (8-8), junior Shelby Sicheneder (6-6), and senior Emma Christopherson (8-10). Kills came off the swift hands of Nico Schmidt (18), Rachel Schmidt (7), Kuntz (4), and junior Sam Bartz (2). Hucky had 37 set assists.
Quick on the back line and collecting multiple digs were Grimsley (5), Nico Schmidt (4), Schroeder (2), Sicheneder (2), and Christopherson (1). With only a few weeks remaining in the regular season, Grimsley said she feels the team is close to where they need to be.
“It is really all about peaking at the right time and these girls are working hard and improving daily,” she said. “Each game continues to be a learning experience that we want to take with us into [the] post season.”
The Crusaders are on the road until Oct. 22.