NEW ULM - Monday night, the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds volleyball team had to dig holes before they became queens of the hill.
The Greyhounds rallied from large deficits in the first and fourth sets to defeat the Madelia Blackhawks 25-23, 21-25, 25-15, 25-22.
And it was no accident that senior middle hitter Lisa Helget was behind the service line to help those rallies happen.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Kristin Mohr (9) spikes the ball past the block attempt of Madelia’s Sarah Haynes during the first set of the match Monday at CHS.
"I've said that we need Lisa in the front row and the back row," Cathedral coach Stef Dietz said. "She was composed behind the line. I told the team when they were down they had to relax and take the game back. I'm proud of the way we came back in those sets, but I'd like to see us not dig ourselves a hole in the beginning, too."
The hole in the first set saw Madelia take a 17-9 lead before the Greyhounds' offense woke up. A kill by Helget set up her first stint behind the line and she delivered eight straight points, including an ace. Help up front came from MacKinnon Ehlenz, who added two kill blocks and a kill of her own.
From 17-17 forward, the game was tied four times before two unforced Blackhawk errors handed the set to the Greyhounds. Cathedral came back in the second set from a 9-5 deficit and forced seven ties, the final one at 21-21. But three unforced errors and a kill block from Madelia knotted the match at 1-1.
The Greyhounds shrugged off the second-set loss and in the third set took total control after a 9-9 tie. A five-point service run from Paige Pautzke and a seven-point run from Helget almost made it look too easy as the Greyhounds took a 23-10 lead and ended the matter with a kill from Kristin Mohr.
To say the Blackhawks dominated the first part of the fourth set would be an understatement. Two aces by Katie Osborne and seven errors by Cathedral helped Madelia to a 14-4 lead.
Karlee Pfaff started the Greyhounds' comeback with an ace, with Mohr responsible for seven more points after Cathedral was down 16-9. Still down 18-16, Helget served up and ace and got a kill and kill block from Ehlenz that put the Greyhounds up 21-18. After a 22-22 tie, though, a kill from Mohr and two errors by the Blackhawks gave the match to Cathedral.
For the Greyhounds, Helget was 24-for-26 from the line, with two aces and 11 kills. Pautzke was 17-for-17 with two aces and 36 set assists. Ehlenz had 11 kills and five ace blocks.
The 8-8 Greyhounds are 0-4 in the Tomahawk Conference and will travel to Stewart to take on conference rival Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart at 7 p.m. tonight.