Bendlage has 11 kills as Crusaders advance

Seymour's sophomore Olivia Power goes up for an attack against the HTC front line in Wednesday's regional quarterfinal win for HTC. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC


FORT MADISON – Melissa Freesmeier was honored for her 1,000th career win after Holy Trinity’s three-game sweep of Seymour in Wednesday’s Class 1A regional quarterfinal.
All that matters to the Crusaders’ coach now is the current postseason record.
“The reality is, it’s the postseason and we’re 1-0,” Freesmeier said. “We’ve got a job to do.”
The Crusaders made it a quick night with a 25-6, 25-7, 25-13 win in a match that took less than an hour.
Holy Trinity (30-10), ranked No. 5 in Class 1A, plays No. 13 New London (26-13) in Monday’s regional semifinal.
“We’ve got to look for Monday night, whoever it may be,” Freesmeier said. “That’s exciting. That’s the fun of the year — the hard work, everything we’ve put in during the year. It’s go time.”

HTC sophomore Mary Kate Benlage scores on a point at the net for the HTC Crusaders. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

The Crusaders set the tone early against Seymour (19-11). They scored 12 consecutive points, and 18 of 19, in the first game. Then, in the second game, they had a six-point run and two five-point stretches.
“Very important,” Freesmeier said of the start. “We talk about playing every point, not making a lot of mistakes in a row, keep control of the game. I thought our kids did a great job of that.”
Seymour challenged in the third game, taking an early 4-1 lead and trailing 12-11 before Holy Trinity scored 11 consecutive points. Brooke Mueller had three of her six aces in that run, and Mary Kate Bendlage added three kills.
“Brooke got hot at the service line,” Freesmeier said. “And we took care of the net. Had some big swings there.”
Bendlage led Holy Trinity with 11 kills. Natalie Randolph had eight kills. 
Mary Kate Bendlage 11, Natalie Randolph 8, Kassi Randolph 4, Reagan Holvoet 4, Brooke Mueller 3, Kayla Box 2, Taegan Denning 1.
Kassi Randolph 7-7 (2 aces), Anna Sobczak 16-16 (2 aces), Natalie Randolph 12-13 (3 aces), Mary Kate Bendlage 13-13 (1 ace), Brooke Mueller 19-19 (6 aces)
Anna Sobczak 15, Mary Kate Bendlage 8, Natalie Randolph 5, Brooke Mueller 4, Teagan Snaadt 4, Kassi Randolph 3, Kayla Box 2. 
Kassi Randolph 17, Anna Sobczak 3, Reagan Holvoet 1.
Kayla Box 1, Taegan Denning 1, Reagan Holvoet 1.

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