Waseca came in like a lion but went out like a lamb Monday at Waseca Junior Senior High School against St. Peter.
The Saints rallied from a two-set deficit to pull off a 14-25, 25-27, 25-10, 25-19, 15-2 victory over the Bluejays to earn a season sweep. St. Peter (8-1, 7-1 Big South) defeated Waseca 23-25, 25-19, 28-26, 17-25, 15-11 Oct. 22 in St. Peter.
The Bluejays looked well on their way to a victory following an extended second set where they rallied from a four-point deficit twice but things changed suddenly in the third set.
The Saints jumped out to a 6-0 lead and rolled to a 25-10 set win as miscommunication and hitting errors added up for Waseca.
“Our hitting kind of went down and our front row presence,” Bluejays head coach Jolene Hauger said. “We weren’t communicating as efficiently or effectively and it led to silly errors, which takes a toll on our mental state. You can’t quite get into a game when we have silly errors like that.”
Several balls dropped in front of Waseca players during the set and the offense never found a rhythm.
Senior outside hitter Camryn McQuery led the Bluejays (3-6, 3-4 Big South) with 10 kills in the five-set match while sophomore Avery Madsen tallied seven kills and three blocks.
Waseca senior setter Megan Nelson led the team with 16 assists and junior setter Sophie Potter added 10 assists. Nelson and senior libero Brooke Hayes led the team with 18 digs while Potter added 12 and sophomore Haylee Sommers added 11.
In the decisive fifth set, the Saints jumped out to a 5-0 lead as the Bluejays struggled with their serve receive.
Waseca’s defense against tipped attacks showed improvement from previous matches and the team has welcomed back junior Kloe Wadd, who missed the first part of the season due to injury.
“We have a ton of scrappy players who are getting better at reading the ball, a lot of quick players,” Hauger said. “I just tell them, ‘Watch their hands.’ We always talk about what they’re doing and they’re reacting a little better.”
But the issues of consistency and closing out matches resurfaced against St. Peter.
The Bluejays will try to end a two-match skid Thursday against Blue Earth Area (1-5) in Blue Earth. Waseca swept the Buccaneers Oct. 29 in Waseca.
St. James rebounds against Waseca
Waseca had previously swept St. James in the first meeting of the season but the Saints performed better at home in a 25-19, 25-21, 20-25, 25-21 victory last Thursday in St. James.
Avery Madsen led the Bluejays with 15 kills and Kloe Wadd added 10.
Brook Hayes and Megan Nelson led the team with 13 digs and Haylee Sommers tallied 11.
Nelson finished with a team-high 25 assists with Sophie Potter totaling 11.