BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
FORT MADISON – Melissa Freesmeier described her Holy Trinity volleyball team as being “even keel.”
But there was something different in the Crusaders in the third game of Tuesday’s SEI Superconference match against New London, and it was something Freesmeier liked to see.
The Crusaders, ranked No. 3 in Class 1A, swept the sixth-ranked Tigers 25-21, 25-21, 25-16.
Holy Trinity (17-5 overall, 4-0 Superconference South Division) roared through the third game, scoring the first four points and had leads of 6-1, 9-3 and 11-4.
“We started strong,” Freesmeier said. “We knew New London wouldn’t let up — they would keep coming at you, which is what they do.
“The big thing is I saw in our kids the competitiveness, the aggressiveness. They were out there to finish it. There was a definite ‘Let’s take it, let’s finish it off.’”
It was in sharp contrast to the second game, when the Crusaders fell behind 5-0 and forced Freesmeier to call a timeout. Even in the first game, Holy Trinity had to rally from an early 10-7 deficit.
“We were down early, but they stayed with it,” Freesmeier said. “They stayed the course, and just did what they had to do.”
It’s always a good rivalry between the Crusaders and New London (10-5, 3-1), and Tuesday’s match was no different.
“We won a lot of the long rallies, and when you play New London you know you’re going to get a lot of long rallies, so you better be prepared,” Freesmeier said.
The Crusaders have lost just one game in their last six matches.
“This group is so even-keel, it makes me crazy,” Freesmeier said, laughing. “But you know, it works for them. They’ve found a unity, they’ve found a continuity. They just know what they have to do, and they depend on each other to get it done.”
The Crusaders play at WACO (20-2, 4-0) on Thursday night in a match for the division lead.
“It was good to get a win,” Freesmeier said. “To win in three games against New London, that’s pretty good.”