Knights volleyball topples Blue Jackets, Huskies

STMA outside hitter Laura Sukalski sends the ball over the net during the first set vs. Andover. (Photo by Jake Schroer)

STMA outside hitter Laura Sukalski sends the ball over the net during the first set vs. Andover. (Photo by Jake Schroer)

By Jake Schroer

Crow River News Sports

 

The Lady Knights traveled to Cambridge-Isanti on Thursday and came away with a three sets to one victory, evening the team’s record at 4-4.

The team played well enough to win its first two sets comfortably, coach Ryan Dehnel said. In the third set, the Jackets came out surging and the Knights failed to settle down, losing the set in the process.

STMA fell down 4-1 beginning the fourth set, but bounced back and took away the few things Cambridge relied on for points, Dehnel said. The team made adjustments and ran away with the set to win the match 3-1. Dehnel said that his team took a big step forward by responding with much better focus to win the last set.

The Knights next faced the Andover Huskies of the Northwest Suburban conference at home on Monday. The first set started out evenly, with Andover holding a 14-13 lead before STMA scored seven straight points to push the lead to 20-14, eventually winning set one 25-20.

The second set started with the Knights scoring nine of the first 12 points en route to a 9-3 lead before Andover scored some points of its own. The Knights settled down after the Huskies rally and took the second set 25-16.

With a two set cushion, the Knights focused on the sweep, cruising to a 12-4 lead. Andover rallied once again, but the Knights got momentum back by scoring some key points. STMA took set 3, sweeping the Huskies and improving its record to 5-4.

Dehnel said that Andover was a scrappy team, and that they play defense a little differently than other teams do.

“We’ve played them for years now, and so we had a little idea of where they were going to be at,” he said.

Dehnel said that despite a two set cushion, the intensity level still needed to be high.

“Part of being a good team if you want to be a good team is putting teams away.”

Dehnel also said that his team learned from the losses in the Marshall tournament and that the meat of the schedule approaches.

“Now we’re into the part of the season where we have a lot of really good non-conference opponents lined up in single matches.”

The volleyball team played against Monticello at home on Tuesday and it faces North Branch on the road tonight.

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