The Crusader volleyball team snapped a five-game losing streak over the weekend with a pair of wins at a Chaska tournament.
Mayer Lutheran was 2-2 in the tournament, falling 2-0 to both Stewartville and Thief River Falls in pool play. Later in the day, the Crusaders found their winning ways against Stillwater and Cretin-Derham Hall, defeating both teams 2-0.
Earlier last week, the Crusaders wrapped up the Minnesota River Conference season with a 3-1 loss to Jordan on Oct. 15.
Down two sets to none (losing 25-22, 25-19), the Crusaders snagged the third set 25-20 before Jordan took set four 25-19 and the match. Mayer Lutheran head coach Joelle Grimsley said the Crusaders had a great team effort and stopped Jordan from long runs.
“We were able to play up tempo with Jordan with their biggest outside hitters as our defense was doing a great job of keeping the ball alive,” she said. “Our setters were able to keep the ball moving to a variety of hitters.”
Serving at 95 percent for the night and with 56 kills, the Crusader offense was led by senior Rachel Schmidt with 19 kills. Junior Maria Kuntz had 11 kills for the Mayer Lutheran effort, while senior Shelby Sicheneder added six. Setters Lauren Schroeder, a senior, and sophomore Kalie Winter combined for 43 of the team’s 48 set assists.
Along with six blocks, the Crusaders had 38 digs on defense, led by senior Jessi Grimsley (14), Sicheneder (12), and Schmidt (6).
Drawing the No. 4 seed for the Section 4A tournament, Mayer Lutheran earned a bye from Monday night’s first round of play. The Crusaders then hosted No. 13 Hmong Academy on Oct. 23. The victor advances to play on Friday, Oct. 25 at the higher seed. For sections, wrapping up games will be a focus for LHS.
“We are going to continue working on finishing games as at times we do struggle with that,” Grimsley said.
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