Bethlehem Academy Volleyball Upends Medford
The latest Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association rankings had Medford #10 in Class A, Faribault Bethlehem Academy received votes. It's hard to do rankings with no tournaments this year but the Cardinals had to wonder why the Tigers were ranked when they defeated them to start the season in Medford.
In the first match BA won in four sets. Tonight was a 4 set match also. In each set it took awhile for the Cardinals to get going. Medford rode the arm of senior middle hitter Kinsey Kronin in the first two sets and still lost by scores of 25-23, 25-22.
The TIgers pulled out the third set 25-23 before faltering in the fourth set 25-20. My unofficial statistics had Kronin with 21 kills to lead all players in the match.
The difference in the match in my opinion was the BA serving. They had 10 aces but even more importantly they were able to consistently keep Medford out of system so they couldn't get good sets to middle hitters Kronin and junior Clara Kneifel.
The Tigers had 4 ace serves. The team with the most errors usually does not win in volleyball. These sets were all close enough where just a couple of errors could be the difference.
For example in the second set my statistics had the Cardinals with 6 errors, Medford 8. Both teams had 14 kills. BA tallied 2 ace serves, Medford 1.
In the third set Medford had 10 errors, fourth set 13 errors which are points for the other team. Errors total in the match was 38 for Medford and 29 for Bethlehem Academy.
My unofficial statistics also had the Tigers with 50 kills to the Cardinals 44.
In addition to Cronin. Kneifel had 10 kills for Medford. Junior Ellie Cohen led the BA team with 13 kills, sophomore Lindsay Hanson had 11 kills, senior Kennedy Tutak 8 kills.
They were named Malecha's Auto Body Crunch Time Faribault Players of the Match along with sophomore Kate Trump.
Trump finished the night with 5 ace serves to go with her 7 kills.
Bethlehem Academy's (6-1) only loss was to #2 rated Waterville-Elysian-Morristown in Waterville. They go to Hayfield Thursday night.
Medford is now 3-3 with two losses to BA and a loss to WEM. The Tigers are scheduled to go to Blooming Prairie Thursday.
The match was huge in terms of Section seeds which will be tough to determine because all the teams are playing only in their conferences.
Other volleyball tonight: Waterville-Elysian-Morristown swept Hayfield 25-14, 25-16, 25-16 thanks in part to a 21 kill night by senior Toryn Richards, Kylie Pittman added 16 kills. New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva edged Blooming Prairie in a five set marathon. NRHEG won the first set 25-17. Blooming Prairie the second set 25-16,. The third set went the Awesome Blossoms way 27-25 before NRHEG picked up 25-18, 15-9 victories.
In the Hiawatha Valley League Lake City swept Kenyon-Wanamingo 25-16, 25-16, 25-18. Kasson-Mantorville swept Goodhue 25-18, 25-14, 25-14. Cannon Falls downed Pine Island 25-21, 25-17, 25-22.
In the Big Nine Northfield cruised by Winona 25-5, 25-9, 25-21 in Winona. Owatonna defeated Rochester John Marshall in four sets, The Huskies won the first set 25-10. Rockets captured the second set 25-22 before Owatonna 25-20, 25-18 wins. Rochester Mayo swept Austin with no scores reported for each set. Mankato East edged Albert Lea in a five set match. The Tigers won the first set 26-24. East won the second set 25-7 before falling to Albert Lea 25-23 in the third set and reeling off 25-8 and 15-5 wins.
In other matches Hutchinson took three sets to defeat Jordan. Mayer Lutheran swept LeSueur-Henderson. Belle Plaine defeated Sibley East in three sets. Norwood-Young America was victorious over Tri-City United in four sets.
Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton downed Martin Luther-Granada Huntley East Chain in 4 sets. Waseca nipped Fairmont in 5 sets.
Dover-Eyota swept LaCrescent. Plainview-Elgin-Millville won 3-0 over Rushford-Peterson. Fillmore Central won 3-0 over Chatfield.