Greyhounds sweep Blackhawks

NEW ULM – The number 13 was lucky for the New Ulm Cathedral volleyball team Monday night as it opened their season with a 25-13, 25-13, 30-28 sweep of Madelia.

The Greyhounds (1-0) have been working on their passing since practice started and coach Becky Wilfahrt said it showed against the Blackhawks.

“We held a four-team scrimmage here last Saturday and our passing has looked much better since then,” Wilfahrt said. “We did a lot of good things tonight. Our blocking and passing was good, but we need to be more aggressive and I talked with the girls about that.”

The way Cathedral started the first set, it looked like it might be a short night in the gym. Leah Krzmarzick started things off with two aces and suddenly the Greyhounds were up 12-2.

Consecutive kills by Anna Mohr widened that lead to 18-4 before Madelia rallied behind four kills from Ryleigh Haynes that eventually shaved it to 18-10. But a kill from Mohr cemented the first set of the year for the Greyhounds at 25-13.

The Blackhawks looked like they shook off the opening set jitters to start the second set, as there were six ties until Cathedral hit two consecutive balls into the net to give them a 10-9 lead.

But after it was 11-11, the Greyhounds established themselves again, this time helped by an ace from Mohr and consecutive aces by Jenessa Rothmeier to open a 20-13 margin. Five consecutive Blackhawk errors put Cathedral up 2-0 in the match with identical scores.

Madelia took early command of the third set with three aces in a row by Melody Colon putting the Blackhawks up 5-1. The Greyhounds erased that lead and eventually went up 8-7, but Madelia showed resiliency and went up 14-10 after an ace by Mari De La Cruz.

This time it was Cathedral’s turn to fight back, with back-to-back aces by Catherine Miller knotting it at 16-16. After this point, neither team could get more than a two-point lead, with the Greyhounds up 23-21 before they hit the ball out of bounds twice to tie it up again.

After this point, there were unforced errors and just three offensive points the rest of the set, an ace and a kill from Madelia and the game-winning kill from Cathedral’s Amber Hillesheim.

Mohr paced the Greyhounds with six kills, four kill blocks and three aces. Cathedral resumes play on Thursday night at home against Cleveland at 7 p.m.

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