Bethlehem Academy Volleyball Wins Lesson in Mental Toughness
The Kenyon-Wanamingo Knight volleyball team had a 19-11 lead in the first set in the gym of Faribault Bethlehem Academy and lost 25-23.
The Knights had set point four times in the third set and fell 27-25.
Bethlehem Academy won the second set 25-18 and swept Kenyon-Wanamingo out of Van Orsow Auditorium Tuesday night.
It was the first meeting during the regular season between the two teams in recent memory.
I remember Cardinal Head Coach Franz Boelter telling me a number of years ago he wanted to get the Knights on their schedule because they had become a very good volleyball program.
I hope the series can continue.
Coming back from a 19-11 deficit in volleyball is huge.
I would say it's like being down double digits in basketball in the fourth quarter or down two scores in the fourth and winning in football.
Then Bethlehem Academy repeated their never say die effort to come back late in the third set.
Kenyon-Wanamingo had a 22-17 lead when Coach Nerison took a time out to try and get her team focused on closing out the set.
Coach Nerison told KDHL following the match she was "disappointed" her Knights couldn't close out the Class A 5th ranked Cardinals.
The lesson for both teams was about mental toughness.
It takes a resolve and focus to erase those kind of deficits in today's rally scoring volleyball and a lack of resolve and mental toughness to relinquish those kinds of leads in match.
It doesn't get any easier for the Knights. They host #2 Class A Hayfield Thursday night and KDHL will be in the Castle to bring you the match.
Bethlehem Academy travels to Blooming Prairie Tuesday.
Our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the match were Mary Campbell, Jessica Oathoudt, Oliva Nass and Laney Donahue.
Sophomore Ally Peterson crushed ball after ball and finished with double digit kills but after the first set Laney Donahue and Olivia Nass in particular had some highlight reel digs.
Mary Campbell was her usual steady self in the attacking department and also has become the team's second setter.
Coach Boelter telling KDHL before the match Campbell had not set since the seventh grade, but during the Shakopee Tournament last weekend they decided to give it a try and saw some success.
In my opinion the first set comeback by the Cardinals was due mainly to an adjustment they made in attacking the outsides.
They started to score almost at will when smacking the ball off the Knight blockers arms and out of bounds.
Bethlehem Academy also served more and more aggressive as the night went on and had more service errors I'm sure than they would like but they did get the sweep.
Kenyon-Wanamingo looked so good in their conference opener at Cannon Falls last Thursday but they do have some youth and typically with young players comes inconsistency.