BEA spikes Saints 3-0
The Blue Earth Area Bucs volleyball team traveled to St. James to face the Saints last Tuesday night. The Bucs and Saints started the evening tied with New Ulm for first place in the South Central Conference with identical 4-1 records.
Blue Earth Area did their part to stay atop the standings with a 25-15, 25-16, 25-17 sweep of the Saints.
A kill by Jenny Smith gave the Bucs an early 7-2 lead in game one. Moments later, consecutive ace serves by Anne Marie Hoyt widened the Bucs margin to 11-3.
The Saints, who were playing without their injured starting setter, Ali Curry, mounted a comeback and pulled to within two points of the Bucs at 13-11.
“I told the girls that they needed to take control,” said Bucs’ coach Donna Nawrocki. “We did not want to let them back in the game.”
A kill by the Bucs’ Sydney Ristau stopped the Saints momentum and BEA began to pull away. With the Bucs up 23-15, kills by Hoyt and Krista Hassing gave the visitors their final two points and the 25-15 win.
Game two was similar to game one. The Bucs opened up a big lead at 16-6, and, like game one, the Saints staged a rally to make things close.
This time the Saints pulled to within three points of the Bucs at 19-16. With the Saints serving, Ristau tapped one over the net for a side out to give the Bucs a 20-16 lead.
Katie Krieger served the final five points, including a game-ending ace, closing out the game and putting BEA up two games to zero. It was St. James that broke out on top in game three, 4-0. A net serve by the Saints gave the Bucs their first point. Three service points by the Bucs’ Smith tied the game at 4-4.
St. James had gained a 7-4 advantage when a back row attack by Hassing narrowed the gap to 7-5. Blue Earth Area scored the next four points to take a 9-7 lead, aided by Krieger’s service ace and Ristau’s kill off an Ashley Olson set.
The lead was short lived, however, as the Saints tied the game at 9-9. The two teams traded points before the Saints gained a 12-10 advantage.
A side out pulled the Bucs to within one, at 12-11. The Bucs tied it on a Hassing ace block and then increased the lead to 14-12 on consecutive service aces by Hoyt. Hoyt would not leave the service line until the Bucs had increased their lead to 17-12.
Two points for the Saints would narrow the gap to 17-14, but consecutive kills by Hassing and Smith closed the door on the Saints’ comeback.
The Bucs pulled away at the end. Ristau scored back-to-back ace blocks to give the Bucs a 22-15 lead. Senior setter Olson then spread the ball around with Smith, Krieger, and Ristau executing kills for the BEA’s final points of the game.
Olson finished the game with 23 set assists to five different Buc hitters. Ristau recorded seven kills while Smith, Hassing, and Hoyt finished with five kills each.
Smith came up with nine digs followed by Olson with eight.
Hassing recorded five ace blocks with Smith having two.
Krieger was the leading server with 16 points, including six aces, on 19 of 20 serving. Hoyt was 16 of 17 serving for 14 points and five aces.