NEW ULM - It took all five games, but Minnesota Valley Lutheran finally defeated Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 18-25, 25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 15-12 in a Section 2A North Sub-Section volleyball match on Thursday.
"It was definitely a hectic game," said MVL senior setter Martha Johnston. "I was expecting to win a little bit sooner, but I'm glad that we took it in five and got the big win."
MVL struggled with unforced errors in the first set, and ACGC drew first blood winning 25-18.
Staff photo by Mark Newsom
Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Alexa Alfred gets the volleyball past the outstretched arms of a Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City player during Section 2A, North Sub-Section Volleyball action held at MVL on Thursday evening in New Ulm.
Chargers fans had reason to start worrying when they fell behind 6-0 in the second set, but their fears were dispelled when MVL went on a 10-1 run and went on to win to second set 25-21.
The Chargers were trailing for the majority of the third set, and they trailed ACGC 18-20 before going on a 7-2 run to win set three 25-22.
MVL looked poised to make a run to finish the match late in the fourth set, but ACGC was able to hold of the Chargers winning the set 25-22 to force a fifth set.
The Chargers' seniors came out like players who were fighting to keep their careers alive.
"(MVL head coach Sarah Gieseke) told us to just keep our heads up, keep playing our hardest, and keep cheering as hard as we could for every point," Johnston said.
Seniors Sarah Burk and Carlie Maasz powered the Chargers' offense in the fifth set. Johnston fooled ACGC when she slammed home a critical kill instead of setting it up to one of her teammates late in set five.
"I was pretty close to the net, and I just thought I might as well take it and hit it and hopefully they won't expect it.
MVL went on to win the final set 15-12.
Burk led the Chargers on offense with 17 kills, while she also led the team in blocks with five. Maasz had 10 kills for the game.
MVL senior libero Allison Collum led the team with 35 digs, and Maasz added 31 digs.
Johnston had 38 set assists and 10 digs to go along with her crucial kill.
MVL (16-11-3) advances to take on BOLD in the Section 2A, North Sub-Section semi-finals on Tuesday.