The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

October 3, 2012

MartinLuther sweeps BLC in volleyball

MANKATO — Consistency has been a problem for the Bethany Lutheran volleyball team all season long and Wednesday night was no exception as Upper Midwest Athletic Conference rival Martin Luther swept the Vikings 25-16, 25-16, 25-16 at the Sports and Fitness Center.

“We’ve been working so hard on our consistency and I feel it will turn around,” Bethany coach Sue Forrey said. “They were able to shut down our hitters and that’s a credit to them. We need to work on getting stronger defensively.”

Martin Luther (10-8 overall, 4-1 in UMAC) ripped 40 kills in the match and compiled a gaudy .344 hitting percentage in winning its 10th match over its last 12 starts. Junior outside hitter Rebecca Engelbrecht paved the way for Knights with 13 kills while freshman middle hitter Leah Nass and senior middle hitter Rachel Hein belted eight and seven kills, respectively.

“We were confident coming in and we communicated better than we have in the past,” Engelbrecht said. “Our defense has continually gotten better throughout the season and our team chemistry is getting better. We usually hit pretty well and we were able to find the gaps in mixing it up between hits and tips.” Bethany (3-16, 2-3) hung with the Knights through the early stages of each game before too many miscues and a lack of offensive firepower enabled Martin Luther to win each game by nine points. The Vikings managed to gain a 12-11 lead in Game 2 before back-to-back kills from Heather Dannel ignited an 11-2 surge that produced a 22-14 lead on Engelbrecht’s cross-court rocket.

Sophomore middle hitter Shelby Wiederhoeft, who led the Vikings with 11 kills, banged two kills and came up with a block in the early going of Game 3 as Bethany found itself trailing only 14-12 after sophomore right-side hitter Caitlin Decker registered a loose-ball kill.

However, a Vikings’ service error and Engelbrecht’s kill sparked a surge that pulled the Knights to a 23-14 cushion. Nass smacked three kills in the stretch.

“We struggled with doing the little things right,” Wiederhoeft said. “They were firing on all cylinders. They have a good setter who does well setting up their offense and they have good swings. We’ve been dealing with inconsistency all season ... we’ve been trying to work through it.”

Sophomore Miranda Maasz collected 36 set assists for the winners, who also received 12 digs from Alex Anthon. Emily Franzon tallied 15 assists for the Vikings and Jessi Jurries came up with a team-best 11 digs.

Both teams are in action Friday with Bethany hosting Northland and Martin Luther entertaining St. Scholastica.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Outdoors

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Pineda: Put pine tar because he didn't want to hit anyone Farrell on Pineda: 'When it's that obvious, something has to be said' Wrigley Field celebrates 100th birthday Phelps returns to the pool Tour Confidential: What Impact Will Tiger's Absence Have on Golf? Pujols joins 500 club Wall: 'This was a make or break year for me' Klatt's Mock Draft: Top 10 Klatt's Mock Draft: Late 1st round Marcus Spears: Cowboys Needs on Draft Day Could Bridgewater Make Scouts Look Foolish? NFL Draft: Will Manziel Be Off The Board By Pick No. 4? Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes Race to avoid Premier League relegation heats up The many faces of Mike Woodson Draft Preview: Ego Ferguson Chelsea, Atletico set to do battle in Champions League With The Twelfth Pick, The New York Giants Select... Rosenthal: Trout's contract was a compromise Trail Blazers battle back, overcome Rockets in OT