Mayer Lutheran Sweeps Bethlehem Academy
The Class A top ranked Mayer Lutheran Crusaders hosted the #3 rated Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinals Tuesday night and notched an impressive sweep.
I don't know if there's a Class A team in the state that can beat the defending State Champions.
I know if they play like they did Tuesday night they will repeat.
Before the match Cardinal Head Coach Franz Boelter said what made them so tough was their incredible court coverage.
Boy was he right.
They just don't have holes and their senior libero Mya Chimelewski had dig after dig and accurate pass after accurate pass.
Meanwhile the Cardinals did compete halfway through the first set and looked like they had some momentum going until a double hit was called.
The double hit was a common call against Bethlehem Academy in the match. They had five of them called in the first set alone which they dropped 25-14.
The Crusaders dominated the second set 25-9 when the Cardinals had more errors than kills. There were six more double hits.
Again Bethlehem Academy competed the first half of the third set but saw it slip away when the errors mounted. Mayer Lutheran won 25-14.
The Faribault State Farm Insurance Agents Faribault player of the match was senior Mary Campbell.
I chose her primarily because she didn't make many errors.
Talking with her after the match Campbell said her team needs to quit letting the errors effect their play.
She noted there is a snowball effect they have to not allow happen in order to get to the next level of play.
I enjoyed watching Mayer Lutheran 5'10 senior hitter Madi Beck repeatedly crush the ball for kills and 6'0 sophomore Olivia Tjernagle.
Of course they were able to do that for the most part because of excellent sets thanks to consistent pinpoint passing.
In the first portion of the first set in particular though the Crusaders scored a number of points in what I call scramble mode.
In my opinion the teams that score when they are not able to run specific plays are the hardest to defeat.
At times Bethlehem Academy appeared to be timid instead of going for it which was results in easy balls for the opponent and when the opponent is the defending state title holder with everybody back, well, you get swept.
Mayer Lutheran is now 19-1 with their only loss to top ranked Class 2A defending champion and #1 ranked Maple Lake.
The only other team they've even dropped a set to was Jordan in a league rivalry match.
Coach Boelter says the Cardinals have shown the ability to be a very good team but are having trouble sustaining intensity and consistency.
Mayer Lutheran Head Coach Joelle Grimsley said her team played it's best match of the season against the Cardinals and they were pumped to play.
After the match lots of youngsters lined up to have the Crusader players autograph posters of the team.
The Cardinals step back into the Gopher Conference and host Maple RIver Thursday.