FAIRMONT — Exceeded expectations.
Fairmont head volleyball coach Kim Breamer challenged her hitters ahead of Tuesday night’s Big South Conference showdown with rival Blue Earth Area.
The 1-2 middle point tandem of Jazlyn Geerdes and Brylee Miller also combined for 28 kills, while Corene Moeller contributed five kills and three blocks to propel the Cardinals to a 25-20, 25-23, 25 sweep. -15 from Bucs in Fairmont.
“Before the game, I told my two midfielders (Geerdes and Miller) that they needed 12 kills each tonight for us to have a chance of winning,” Breamer said. “They exceeded that number and got the job done.”
Fairmont, however, had to regroup from early deficits in both sets 1 and 2 to produce a rare sweep over Blue Earth Area.
“We lost six points in the first two sets and fought to win both. That tells us something about our tenacity tonight,” Breamer said.
Down 11-5 in set 1 on the heels of one of 13 kills from Buc center forward Alicia Machacek and a service ace from Kylee Eckmann, Fairmont received a sideout on a timeout from Breamer via a BEA typo.
Geerdes drilled in a cross kick on one of Grace Pendergast’s team’s best 17 assists to later regain possession and teammate Kynlie Anderson delivered on the scoreboard.
Anderson, who dished out 12 assists in the game, landed four unanswered service points to tie the first set at 12 all.
Machacek halted the Cardinals’ comeback by unleashing an ace kill on a Haley Kalis set, but Miller would counter for Fairmont four rotations later.
Chantel Moeller then broke a tie at 14 with a pair of line-drive serves that resulted in Miller being murdered on an Anderson set and Miller being dismissed.
The Bucs’ Miller and Taylor Klabunde traded two kills to rock the set before Olivia Ortega crossed the baseline. Ortega served up points 24 and 25 as Geerdes hammered back-to-back Anderson sets to seal the set 1 win.
Eckmann’s decisive five-point serve then gave BEA a 12-6 lead in set 2, with Machacek netting three kills to fuel the attacking push.
Geerdes’ resounding kill and a Pendergast point then allowed Pendergast to move to the service box and the junior passer/hitter set up a four-run run to push the Cardinals 18-17.
Miller responded with three kills on the next four-point run with Anna Ehlert on the line to help Fairmont take a 21-19 lead.
Machacek responded with impressive frontline firepower to bring the Bucs back to a 23-21 margin before a clean violation on BEA proved costly.
Miller circled to the baseline and picked up the final three points of set 2, with Geerdes hitting a set from Pendergast before Ehlert’s high dig landed inside the baseline intact.
Ironically, Pendergast’s tip and ensuing three-point serve gave Fairmont a 9-3 lead in Set 3.
Corene Moeller recorded back-to-back kills and a block during the run before Eckmann’s kill on an assist from Hailey Becker temporarily halted the run.
Geerdes then crushed a Pendergast play into the hardwood court for a sideout before Olivia Ortega put together a key four-point run into the service box. Geerdes sparked the flurry with a kill and a block before Pendergast entered into a crossover winner.
Machacek responded one last time with a sideways kill, but Miller’s high jump block pivoted Pendergast to the baseline with a 20-13 lead.
Pendergast brought the Cardinals within a point at 24-13 with a four-point push as Corene Moeller rose to drill two kills on Buc’s overpasses before Miller blistered a stinging liner on the hand . A BEA typing error later generated Fairmont’s final tally for the sweep.
Fairmont (2-7) travels to Worthington Thursday night, while Blue Earth Area (1-4) hosts St. James Area next Tuesday night.
Madelia 3, Martin County West 2 — The Mavericks lost a close Valley Conference game to the Blackhawks in five sets Tuesday night at Madelia.
Emily Anderson, Aspen Kosbab and Lucy Larson topped MCW’s offense contributing 12, 11 and eight kills respectively in the loss.
MCW generated 10 service aces on the match, with Bella Lange leading the charge with five, followed by Kosbab with three. MCW’s Grace Bicknase and Anderson had one each.
Bicknase dished out a team-leading 23 assists, followed by Anderson with 12 to pace the attack.
Defensively, Larson made 26 digs, while Kosbab made 13 and Bicknase added 12.
Martin County West (4-3) travels to Granada on Thursday night to take on the Truman Jaguars/Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain in a 7 p.m. game.