With a second crack at a top-10 team in the state, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown was able to pick up its first resume-boosting win of the season.
The Class A No. 5 WEM Buccaneers (2-1) fought back to win 3-2 at AA No. 6 Belle Plaine (1-2) by scores of 15-25, 25-22, 15-25, 26-24, 15-10.
“Our girls showed some grit tonight,” said WEM coach Crystal Lamont. “We had some ups and downs but we pushed through and battled hard until the end. Belle Plaine played some great defense and we had to work hard to score points.”
BP had a chance to close it out in the fourth set, but WEM went into extra points to push to a fifth set, which was controlled by the Bucs.
Senior middle hitter Trista Hering led WEM with six blocks to go with 10 kills and six digs.
Senior middle hitter Delaney Donahue also did a bit of everything for WEM, leading with 22 digs and 15 kills.
“Trista Hering had a great night at the net. She had a high hitting percent and had some key blocks for us,” Lamont said. “Delaney Donahue was solid with her all around play and did an awesome job in serve receive.”
Tuesday was the first meeting between these two teams, separated by approximately 40 miles, in at least 15 years.
It could be the beginning of a budding rivalry.
“This was a great addition to our schedule,” Lamont said. “Belle Plaine put a ton of pressure on our team and we responded and got better as the night went on. Our grit pulled us through in the last set.”
WEM opens the Gopher Conference season 7:15 p.m. Thursday hosting Maple River (2-0, 0-0 Gopher).
The Eagles will be rested with their last match being an Aug. 27 win at Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial. They also beat St. Clair 3-2 to open the season.
Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 3, Belle Plaine 2
W — 15 25 15 26 15
B — 15 22 25 24 10
WEM statistics — Kills: Delaney Donahue 15; Toryn Richards 12; Kylie Pittmann 11; Trista Hering 10; Ellie Ready 4; Alex Heuss 2 … Assists: Ready 48; Donahue 2; Autumn Taylor, Pittmann, Hering 1 … Blocks: Hering 6; Richards 2; Pittmann, Heuss, Donahue 1 … Digs: Donahue 22; Ready 21; Richards 20; Allison Rients 11; Heuss 9; Hering 6; Taylor 5 … Aces: Taylor 3; Donahue 2; Rients, Ready, Pittmann, Richards 1