The Blue Earth Area Buccaneer volleyball team lost to a South Central Conference foe.
BEA fell to the New Ulm Eagles in five games, 16-25, 25-22, 24-26, 24,21, 15-13.
The loss dropped BEA's conference record to 6-1, still in first place. New Ulm stayed in second place with a 5-2 SCC record.
As the scores indicate, it was a competitive night of volleyball in the Buccaneer gym.
“This is the New Ulm team I had expected the first time we played them,” Buccaneer head coach Donna Nawrocki says. In that first meeting in New Ulm, the Bucs swept the Eagles in three games. “I knew this team had more than they showed (at the first meeting).”
Nawrocki says the Bucs gave it a balanced team effort and battled back several times in the games.
So did the Eagles.
The most lopsided game of the night was the first one.
BEA jumped out to an 8-2 lead and built it up to 17-7 at one point.
With Janessa Jahnke at the service line, BEA went from 20-15 to game point at 24-15. The Eagles got one more point before a big-time kill by Krista Hassing put the game away.
BEA enjoyed an early lead in game two, but New Ulm came back to tie it at 9-9. It was tied four more times including 19-19. At that point the Eagles used some big kills to finish of the Bucs, 25-22.
Game three was different. The Bucs never trailed in this game and lead at one time by a score of 16-8.
However, the Eagles came roaring back to tie it up at 24-24. BEA was able to get the two more points necessary for the win, at 26-24.
With the Bucs up two games to one, the Eagles fought hard and were ahead most of game four.
BEA came from behind to tie the game at 13-13, then took the lead at 15-14. New Ulm tied it at 15-all then took the lead at 17-15. It was the Buc's turn to tie it at 17-17.
After that, the Eagles kept a slim lead and won it 25-21, setting up need for the fifth game.
Both teams knew the importance of the short game and fought hard. The score was tied six times, including at 12-12, before the Eagles managed two more points to win the game 15-12 and the match 3-2.
“Both teams were playing hard,” Nawrocki says. “Both were picking each other apart. We missed a couple of serves and that is unusual for us.”
Krista Hassing led the Bucs with 19 kills and seven blocks. Sara Warmka added 17 kills and also was a perfect 18 of 18 serving with nine points and an ace serve.
Macy Henningsen had 40 set assists for the Bucs, as well as going 17 of 19 serving with eight points and two aces.
Janessa Jahnke was 27 of 29 serving with 17 points and three aces. She also had three blocks.
Annemarie Hoyt was another leader on the team with 25 digs and 14 kills.
On Monday this week, the Bucs face the Fairmont Cardinals, another team they have defeated earlier in the season.
“I am sure they will be looking for revenge, too,” Nawrocki says. “We will need a good team effort. We will have to give it a little extra oomph.”
For the rest of the season, that oomph will be needed.
“We will just have to keep playing aggressively,” the coach says. “We need to ‘believe’ the rest of the season.”
BEA 3, St. James 0
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers increased their hold on the South Central Conference lead, going to a 6-0 record with a sweep of St. James last Tuesday night.
The Bucs won 25-12, 25-16, 25-17 on their home court. Nawrocki says. “The girls moved well, their communication was good. They played well together – we got into a good rhythm.”
The Bucs were leading 11-9 in game one when Annmarie Hoyt stepped up to the service line. She served the Bucs to a 20-9 lead with four service aces.
The Saints couldn’t recover. Macy Henningsen served an ace to make it 23-12, while a Sara Warmka kill made it 24-12. Henningsen scored another ace serve to end it 25-12.
In game two, BEA never trailed. The Bucs jumped out to a 5-1 lead and the Saints made it close at 5-4.
Krista Hassing nailed a kill to stop St. James and give BEA a 6-4 lead.
Hassing pounded out several more kills and the Bucs were up 10-4.
Ahead by 22-16, Nicole Carr served the final three points for the Buccaneer 25-16 win.
Game three was more of the same. BEA never trailed, but the Saints kept it close for a while.
A Janessa Jahnke kill gave BEA a 12-9 lead. She then stepped to the service line and the Bucs increased their lead to 16-9 before the Saints could get a side out.
The Bucs led 24-13 when the Saints ran off four straight points. A wide serve by St. James ended their rally and gave the Bucs a 25-17 win for the game and a 3-0 victory for the match.
Jahnke led the team going 16 of 17 serving with 11 points and three ace serves. She also had nine kills, two ace blocks and 14 digs.
Hassing led in the kill category with 11. She also had two ace blocks and added seven digs.
Hoyt was 11 of 12 serving with nine points and four aces. She also had 10 digs.
Henningsen had 19 set assists and seven digs for the Buccaneers.
Nawrocki had some high praise for the non-starters on the Buc team.
“Give our bench players a lot of credit, they are so important,” she says. “They have really pushed the starters in practice and that has helped the team improve.”
“We had a very balanced attack,” Buc coach Donna