Both teams began the night undefeated in South Central Conference play, the Cardinals having a 3-0 conference record, while the Bucs owned a 2-0 conference mark.
The Cardinals dominated the first game winning 25-14. However, the Bucs regrouped and won the next three games 25-14, 25-21, and 25-21.
“The girls have worked hard and stepped up their game,” says Buc head coach Donna Nawrocki. “Their determination has paid off, they are moving better and playing together as a team.”
Fairmont led all the way in the opening game.
Blue Earth Area kept it close in the very beginning, but five straight Cardinal points turned a one-point Cardinal lead into a six point lead at 11-5 and the visitors never looked back as they cruised to the 25-14 victory.
Any thoughts that the Cardinals were going to make it a three-game sweep were dashed early in the second game.
With Janessa Jahnke serving and Sara Warmka and Krista Hassing doing damage at the net, the Bucs raced out to a 6-0 lead.
The Bucs stingy defense didn’t allow the Cards offense to get on a roll.
BEA increased their lead to 10 points at 15-5, and the Cards would get no closer than nine points the rest of the game. With a 24-14 win, the match was tied at one game each.
The Cardinals regrouped in game three and were serving with a 13-9 lead.
A Hassing kill pulled the Bucs to within three points of the visitors and sent senior setter Macy Henningsen to the service line.
An ace serve closed the gap to two points. A quick set and Hassing kill brought the Bucs to within one point of the Cards. Another ace serve tied the score and a Warmka kill made it 14-13 in favor of the Bucs.
A Cardinal kill shot sailed out of bounds for point 15 and a net violation against the red and white made it 16-13.
Hassing stuffed one at the net and then hit a well-placed shot for two more points and an 18-13 Buccaneer lead.
The visitors called time out to try and stop the Bucs’ momentum but Warmka kept things going with a kill that hit the net and fell to the floor for point 19.
The Bucs scored one more point to give Henningsen 10 straight service points and open up a 20-13 lead.
The Cards showed their grit and determination while closing the gap to three points at 24-21.
A kill down the left sideline by the Bucs’ Annemarie Hoyt closed the door on the Cards and put the Bucs up two games to one.
Game four was another close contest.
Tied at 15, the Bucs scored three straight points to get a little breathing room only to see the Cards score two straight to make it 18-17 with the Bucs on top.
A back row kill by Hassing followed by Hoyt’s kill put the Bucs up 20-17.
Once again the Cards closed the gap to one point, but Blue Earth responded and held a 24-21 lead with Jahnke stepping to the service line.
Jahnke’s line drive serve resulted in a Cardinal return that was a perfect setup for the Bucs’ Hassing to smash a winner to the floor and give the Bucs a 25-21 win and sole possession of first place in the conference standings.
Three Buc players finished with double-digit kills.
Krista Hassing had 16 kills, while Sara Warmka and Annemarie Hoyt had 15 and 13 respectively.
Macy Henningsen finished with 40 set assists. Hoyt led the way with 16 digs followed by Janessa Jahnke with 11.
Hassing finished with five ace blocks and Jahnke added four ace blocks.
The Bucs had a good night from the service line led by Henningsen with 13 points and two aces on 20 of 21 service attempts.
Jahnke made 18 of 19 serves for 12 points and two aces and Hassing finished the night 16 of 18 from the service line for 11 points and two aces.
The Bucs travel to Waseca on Tuesday to take on the Blue Jays before returning home on Thursday to host the St. Peter Saints.
BEA takes second
The Bucs went 4-1 to claim second place during tournament play on Spet. 10 in Luverne.
BEA opened with a 25-19, 26-24 win over Luverne, before losing to eventual champion Southwest Christian of Edgerton 25-15, 25-9.
The Bucs then won three straight matches, 25-11, 25-20 over Edgerton Public; Pipestone, 23-25, 25-20; and Vermillion, S.D., 25-20, 25-15.
In Game 1, Janessa Jahnke tallied 13 points on 15 of 17 serving, five aces and added six digs and three kills. Sara Warmka chipped in four points with a perfect 8 of 8 serving and also had six digs and three kills.
Krista Hassing had seven kills and three ace blocks, while Annemarie Hoyt recorded seven digs.
Macy Henningsen had eight set assists and Monica Krieger added four.
In the loss to SWC, Jahnke was 6 of 6 serving for one point and Henningsen had 10 set assists.
Hassing finished with six kills, while Hoyt had five and 11 digs and Warmka tallied nine digs.
Against Edgerton Public, Jahnke collected 10 points on 11 of 13 serving and two aces.
Henningsen’s nine points came on 10 of 13 serving with two aces, while adding 13 set assists.
Warmka was 10 of 10 for seven points to go with two aces. She also had 13 digs and five kills.
Nicole Carr added seven digs and three kills, Hoyt had six digs and three kills.
Hassing chipped in four kills and three ace blocks.
In Game 4, Hoyt was 9 of 10 serving with two aces for seven points. Jahnke collected three points on 7 of 7 serves with one ace. She also had one ace block.
Hoyt also recorded 10 digs, while Henningsen had seven and Warmka six.
Henningsen finished with six set assists and Krieger totaled five.
Hassing, Hoyt and Jahnke each had four kills.
Jahnke led the way against Vermillion with 11 of 14 serving and two aces for 10 points. She also had seven digs.
Henningsen served 9 of 11 serving with four aces for seven points, while adding 13 set assists.
Warmka had five points on 8 of 9 serving with two aces, to go along with six digs and five kills.
Hassing had two ace blocks, while Warmka and Megan Wirtjes each had one.
Hassing also finished with six kills and Hoyt had five digs.