Update: The Mayer Lutheran volleyball team defeated New Life Academy on Oct. 30 to advance to the section final game. The game begins at 5 p.m. tonight at Bloomington Kennedy.
The No. 2 seeded Mayer Lutheran Crusaders continue to move swiftly through the Section 4A volleyball bracket. Facing No. 18 PACT Charter and No. 10 St. Agnes last week, the Crusaders are just one game shy of the section finals.
Mayer 3, PACT 0
Making quick work of No. 18 PACT Charter on Oct. 24, the Crusaders easily took all three sets 25-4, 25-4, and 25-12. As a team, Mayer Lutheran tallied a kill efficiency of .551 with 33 kills and 29 set assists. Serving was a 88 percent, 64-73.
Sophomore Maria Kuntz led the Crusader offense with nine kills and seven aces. Senior Kristen Mielke had seven kills, while junior Sam Bartz added two. Senior Emma Christopherson had three assists. Strong serving nights came from senior Anna Ernst (14-14), Christopherson (4-4), junior Jessi Grimsley (5-5), and Bartz (5-6).
Head coach Joelle Grimsley said the beginning of the postseason is always exciting.
“We are looking forward to playing with much energy and consistency,” she said.
Mayer 3, St. Agnes 0
Winning the sets 25-9, 25-23, and 25-19, Mayer Lutheran won over No. 10 St. Agnes on Oct. 26. With a kill efficiency of .483, the Crusaders totaled 35 kills, 33 set assists, and five digs, while serving at 83 percent (73-88).
Aces came from junior Lauren Schroeder (3 aces, 13-14 serving), Christopherson (2 aces, 8-9), junior Shelby Sicheneder (2 aces, 8-9), and Ernst (one ace, 8-9). Senior Nico Schmidt and junior Rachel Schmidt led the team in kills with 12 and 11, respectively. Mielke (5), Kuntz (3), senior Christina Bruggman (2), and senior Ashlyn Hucky (2) also contributed kills. Hucky had 31 set assists. Schroeder was credited with one.
Digs came from Rachel Schmidt, Hucky, and Ernst.
Grimsley said the Crusaders are taking the postseason one game at a time and are trying to play at their highest level.
“We know that every match along this postseason will get more and more difficult and we need to be playing our best to compete and beat teams,” she said.
The Crusaders played No. 3 New Life Academy on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Heritage Christian. Results of that contest were not available when this issue went to press. The Crusaders faced New Life in the final game of the 2012 regular season on Oct. 22, and won 3-0. The winner of Mayer Lutheran/New Life will advance to the section finals this Thursday, Nov. 1.
The game will be at 6 p.m. at Bloomington Kennedy High School against No. 1 Southwest Christian.
Each season, the volleyball team picks a bible verse for the postseason. This season’s verse is Philippians 3:14, which reads, “I press on toward to goal to win the prize for which God has called my heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
“We have a goal in mind as every other team in the state does,” Grimsley said. “We are fixing our eyes on each phase one at a time in postseason play.”
The Crusaders are 23-7 this season.