She’s back! Blair returns to the court, Bucs win!
It was an emotional night in the Blue Earth Area gym last Tuesday. The Bucs gained a come from behind victory in what has been tough season, it was senior night, and it was the night that a player who missed all of last season made a return to the game she loves so much.
Blue Earth Area defeated the St. James Saints by scores of 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-23.
The first game featured seven ties and the biggest lead either team had during the game was three points until the final point. The last tie came at 21-21 before the Saints secured the win scoring the final four points.
The biggest highlight of the game occurred when senior Sidney Blair entered the game to serve with the Bucs trailing 10-8. Blair, who suffered a torn ACL in the summer of 2017 and reinjured the knee playing basketball last season, proceeded to serve three points including a service ace to help the Bucs take the lead and provide an emotional lift for the team.
Game two had the Bucs in control with a 14-9 lead. Following a net serve by the Bucs the Saint’s Chloe Mickelson stepped to the line and served up four consecutive points, including three ace serves to knot the game at 14 all.
The teams were tied again at 21-21 with the Saints serving. St. James scored two points to lead 23-21 but a serve into the net reduced their lead to one point at 23-22.
Olivia Stewart came in to serve and Alyssa Ripley came through with an ace block to even the score at 23-23.
The Bucs scored the next point to come within one point of the win. Gabby Haaland’s kill off a Maddie Armon set sealed the 25-23 win for the Bucs and evened the match at one game apiece.
Ripley’s kill broke a 10-10 tie in game three and the Bucs would not surrender the lead.
Blair’s second appearance of the evening at the service line resulted in four more points giving the Bucs a 15-10 lead.
The Saints would get as close as three points but BEA remained in control.
Leading 24-19, Adrianna Granillo’s ace serve cemented the victory for the Bucs and gave them a 2-1 lead in the match.
Game four was another close contest. BEA took an early lead and held a seven- point advantage at 11-4 before the Saints mounted a rally to pull within one point at 16-15.
Heidi Hermann’s play at the net increased the Buccaneer lead to two points but the Saints fought back. BEA never lost the lead but the Saints pulled within one point again at 18-17.The Bucs gained a side out on another ace block by Ripley. Stewart then served for two more points to make it 21-17 in favor of the Bucs.
The pesky Saints answered with three consecutive points of their own to trim the Buccaneer lead to one point again at 21-20.
Following a BEA time out Ripley answered with another ace block for a side out and a two point Buccaneer lead.
Kiera Osmundson delivered an ace serve followed by a Ripley kill to extend the Buccaneer lead to 24-20.
St. James countered with three more points resulting in a Buccaneer time out. The Saints’ comeback attempt was thwarted when Ripley tapped a ball near the net down to the floor securing the 25-23 win for the Bucs and the 3-1 match victory.
“I thought we communicated much better tonight and played as a unit,” said Coach Donna Nawrocki. “It was a good team effort and the girls played with a lot of heart tonight.”
Hannah Johnson had another fine night at the net leading the team with 10 kills. She also added 14 digs while hitting on 13 of 15 serves for seven points.
Ripley ended the evening with seven kills and seven ace blocks.
Maddie Armon had 25 set assists and 10 points connecting on 17 of 18 serves with three service aces.
Stewart was a perfect 12 of 12 from the service line scoring nine points. Osmundson added eight points hitting all 13 of her serves and scoring three ace serves.
Granillo and Blair tallied seven points each with Granillo serving three aces and Blair having one service ace.
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneer girls volleyball team lost to four teams and split 1-1 with two other teams during action at their own Buc Invite Volleyball Tournament held on Saturday, Oct. 6.
BEA lost to Maple River 25-10, 25-18 in their first contest, then lost to cross-county rival United South Central, 25-19, 25-12, in their second match.
The Buccaneers split matches with Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial , 25-22, 10-25, and with New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, 11-25, 25-22.
The maroon and gold fell 25-14, 25-8, to Minnesota Valley Lutheran in their next match, and 25-12, 25-21 in their final match of the day against Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman.
Against Maple River Hannah Johnson had six kills and four digs while Maddie Armon had eight set assists and was 6 of 7 serving with two ace serves. Alyssa Ripley added three kills, Eloise Blair had five digs and Kiera Osmundson was 5 of 6 serving with four service points.
Johnson had four kills and five digs and was 5 of 5 serving against the USC Rebels. Blair had 12 digs, Amon seven set assists and five digs, Ripley two kills and two ace blocks and Gabby Haaland three kills.
Against LCWM, Johnson had six kills and five digs, Armon had 13 set assists, three kills and three digs, while Ripley had five kills and was 9 of 9 serving with five points, Osmundson had three kills and was 6 of 7 serving and Blair had five digs.
In the NRHEG match, Johnson notched seven kills and four digs, Ripley had six kills, armon had 15 set assists and was 8 of 10 serving with two aces, Blair had 11 digs, Heidi Hermann three kills and Emma Dahl four digs.
It was Johnson again leading against MVL with five kills, Armon had 10 set assists, Blair had five digs and Ripley three kills and was 5 of 7 serving with three aces.
Against ML/GHEC/T in the final match, Johnson had five kills and five digs with 9 of 10 serving, Armon had nine set assists, Blair eight digs, Olivia Stewart three digs and Hermann four ace blocks.
The Blue Earth Area volleyball team fought hard against Martin County West last Thursday night, but came out with a 3-0 loss to the Mavericks.
The scores were 25-17, 25-10, 25-20.
Hannah Johnson led the team in kills with five, along with five digs.
Alyssa Ripley had four kills along with two ace blocks. Adrianna Granillo had three kills and seven digs, and was 7 of 9 serving with two ace serves and four service points.
Kiera Osmundson also had five digs and was 9 of 12 from the serving line, with two ace serves and six serving points to lead the Bucs in that category.
Maddie Armon led the team in set assists with nine, while also going a perfect 7 of 7 serving with one point.
Eloise Blair had seven digs, while Liz Beeler had three set assists and Heidi Hermann added an ace block.
The loss puts the maroon and gold’s season record at 3-20, while they are 1-4 in the Big South Conference.
The Buccaneer’s next action will be Thursday of this week, when they travel to Rochester to take part in a tournament there.