The St. Cloud State volleyball team returned to Halenbeck Hall riding a 12 set losing streak which dated back to the last time they played at home.
However, this past weekend wasn’t business as usual for the team. It began on Friday night when the Huskies hosted the Beavers of Minot State. The Beavers came into the weekend with some troubles of their own, having lost 8 matches in a row.
The Huskies battled Minot State to a 6-6 tie in the first set before grabbing what turned out to be their final lead of the set at 7-6. They took the first set by a final of 25-20. Set two was a bit more one sided. After grabbing a 4-3 lead the Huskies completed a 7-0 run earning them a 10-3 edge which they never relinquished.
They ended up blowing the Beavers out, 25-15. The Huskies carried that momentum into the start of set 3 opening with a 6-0 run out of the gate. A little later in the set, the Huskies extended their lead to 7 before Minot State came charging back to tie things up late. Unlike last year though, the Huskies would not fold under the mounting pressure of Minot’s run. They finished the Beavers off with a 25-22 third set win.
Rachel Burke had another strong night with 15 kills to lead the Huskies to victory (she set a season high of 18 kills in the home opener against BSU). Defensively Shannon Klink had three blocks to lead the team.
Saturday afternoon was once again all about errors, but this time it came from the opposing sidelines. The Huskies faced off with the University of Mary and quickly took control of the game with their defense. The Marauders would be held to a -.073 hitting percentage in the first set. At the end of the match three players would still have negative hitting percentages for the Marauders. The University of Mary committed 31 errors in total during the match, 19 of them coming off their attacks.
“I tell them we don’t always have to have a monopoly on the hitting errors, we can let the other team make mistakes too,” head coach Chad Braegelmann said, joking after the UMary game. “But, I think that we had a pretty good week of practice and I think it really showed in this home stand because we were low error for the most part.
One of my senior captains said to me that she thought this was the first match that, from the first point to the last point, we were intentional and we were giving our full effort the whole time.
“I didn’t really see any lapses, we had points where maybe we didn’t really play well, but there weren’t mental lapses or a point where we gave up a big scoring run. It feels pretty good and I’m proud of the way they came together and played as a bunch,” Braegelmann said.
The Huskies continued to show their balance offensively against the University of Mary with Rachel Burke and Macy Weller, each finishing with 10 kills.
“I think Macy really needed this one,” Braegelmann continued, “not to say that her confidence was down, but she was struggling a little more than she had in a while. It’s good to get her in a situation where she’s working real hard in transition and to get some kills will help her confidence.”
With the wins, the Huskies are now 7-8 overall and 3-4 in the NSIC this season. On Friday they travel to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for a conference matchup against the Cougars.