|Vikings comeback over pesky Windom|
There were nervous times on the bnech. Coach Steph Hennen (right) studied the situation. Sara Maeyaert applauded (4), Rachel Cheadle (5) cheered and assistant coach Jackie Noyes kept the statistics.
It looked bleak for Minneota in the first game. Windom Area had a 24-16 lead and an Eagle win appeared likely.
But suddenly, with Haylee Davis at the serving line, the Vikings rolled off nine straight points, tied the game, then took a 25-24 lead. They couldn't hold on, with Windom's Hali Tasler blocking the final shot for a point and 27-25 win.
But Minneota asserted themselves and the next three games, while all hard-fought battles, went to the Vikings — all by the same score, 25-20.
A big part of the reason was senior middle hitter Sara Maeyaert."She had an all-around great match for us. She put up big blocks and swung hard for us," said Coach Steph Hennen.
"She played good defense and had a great night," said the coach. Maeyaert had seven blocks and nine kills. A lot of the time she was swinging away with leading hitter Ashlynn Muhl on the bench.
Yet, Muhl had enough swings to collect 14 kills and lead the team.
"This was the best game she's had all year. It was fun to see. And we know she's capable of that. I'm glad she chose tonight to show it," Coach Hennen said about Maeyaert.
Coach Hennen was astounded by the final statistics, which showed her team had 16 missed serves and Windom hitter Courtney Ysker had 23 kills.
Ysker kept Windom in there all night as they played the Vikings even most of the way. There were so many volleys the Vikings had 75 digs. Setter Taya Kockelman, who had 37 sets, also had 18 digs to lead the team. Late in the game her head collided with the floor and she came out for one set — and freshman Megan Larson came in and made a nice set in her absence. Kockelman also served 14 of 18 points with two aces.
"To come back after being in the hole like that (game one's deficit), that was great. It was a real credit to the kids. I'm so proud of them," said Coach Hennen.
"Obviously we have some stuff to work on, but we don't want to be peaking just yet," the coach added.
Serving: (No., good, aces) Kelsey Hennen 13-12-2; Taya Kockelman 18-14-2; Ashlynn Muhl 16-12-2; Jenna Hennen 12-11-1; Haylee Davis 25-21-5; Katelyn Kack 15-13-3.
Digs: Kockelman 18, K. Hennen 14, Davis 14, J.Hennen 13, Kack 6, Sara Maeyaert, and Muhl 4 each, Rachel Cheadle 2.
Sets: Kockelman 37, Muhl 2, K. Hennen 1.
Blocks: Maeyaert 7, Muhl 2, J. Hennen 2.
Kills: Muhl 14, Maeyaert 9, Davis 9, Kockelman 4, J. Hennen and Cheadle 3 each.
WINDOM: Courtney Ysker 23 kills, 8 digs. (Ysker went over 1,000 kills for her career).
Rachel Cheadle (left) met Windom's Amber Eigenberg at the net.