Both the Maple Lake and Sibley East volleyball squads fell to Mayer Lutheran last week as the Crusaders brought home two homecoming week victories.
“Super busy week with homecoming and the Crusaders survived winning both matches,” LHS head coach Joelle Grimsley said. “Festivities were crazy all week but very, very fun to see all the school spirit.”
Hosting the Irish of Maple Lake on Sept. 24, the Crusaders won the first two sets 25-18 and 25-22. The Irish won set three to push the match to four sets, and LHS took the game with a 25-18 win.
“[We] came out on fire the first two games and then Maple Lake really turned it up a notch and we started to make a few errors,” Grimsley said. “The season is all about the journey that we are on and what we are learning. The Crusaders worked hard to get back in rhythm and get back on track for the fourth set.”
Many Crusaders posted strong serving nights, sitting at 94 percent (88-94) as a team. Senior Lauren Schroeder was 21-21 in serving, while senior Rachel Schmidt (15-15), sophomore Kalie Winter (13-13), and junior Maddie Bakken (3-3) also had perfect service nights. Seniors Sam Bartz (15-16), Shelby Sicheneder (10-12), and Jessi Grimsley (13-15) were also spot on.
Schmidt led the Crusaders in kills with 23, followed by junior Maria Kuntz (10), Sicheneder (6), sophomore Maddy Miller (4), Bartz (3), and Winter (3). Winter (24) and Schroeder (17) combined for most of the team’s 43 set assists, while sophomore Rachel Zittergruen added a pair.
On defense, Kuntz had two blocks while dig leaders included Grimsley (13), Schmidt (10), Schroeder (5), Bartz (3), and junior Christina Erdmann (3).
Mayer Lutheran traveled to Sibley East Sept. 26 to collect the team’s second Minnesota River Conference win of the season in a 3-0 game.
Joelle Grimsley said it was a great night for the Crusaders, as the team won the sets 25-15, 25-7, and 25-18.
“We played very strong throughout the entire match and as a team only missed one serve all night,” she said.
Serving 75-76 (99 percent) as a team, the Crusaders were led by Schmidt (23-23), Jessi Grimsley (15-15), Sicheneder (12-12), Bartz (9-9), and Winter (6-6).
Schmidt and Kuntz led LHS in kills, with 14 and 10, respectively. Sicheneder added six, while Miller threw down three. Schroeder had a team-high 16 set assists, supported by Winter (9) and Zittergruen (5).
The Crusaders remained locked down on defense with strong blocking nights from Kuntz (6) and Schmidt (4), while Sicheneder (15) and Grimsley (13) snagged most of the team’s digs.
Joelle Grimsley said the entire match was exciting to watch.
“We are playing much better on controlling our side of the net, our 30-by-30,” she said. “Our defense tightened up a bit tonight and it was so exciting to watch our setters distribute the ball.”
Next week, LHS hosts Bethany Academy and Belle Plaine.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]