Crusaders breeze past Van Buren County

Holy Trinity records 13 aces in straight set win


FORT MADISON - It was a night for aces.
Holy Trinity’s 25-9, 25-19, 25-14 win over Van Buren in Tuesday’s SEI Superconference South Division match at Shottenkirk Gym was all about the Crusaders’ serving.
Holy Trinity (17-8 overall, 2-3 division) had 13 aces, bouncing back from a somewhat rough serving day in the Superconference tournament.
“We missed 16 (serves) the other night,” Holy Trinity coach Melissa Freesmeier said. “That’s too many. That’s uncharacteristic of us. That’s just focus. I know we serve aggressively, but you still have to put the ball on play.”
What Freesmeier liked was how the aces came from different Crusaders.
• Mary Kate Bendlage was 15-of-15 serving with five aces.
• Presley Myers was 14-of-14 with three aces.
• Alexa Dingman was 13-of-13 with three aces.
• Taegan Denning was 13-of-13 with one ace.
• Anna Bendlage was 6-of-6 with one ace.
“Our serving was much better than it was Saturday night, and we needed that,” Freesmeier said.
The aces came during key stretches for the Crusaders.
Myers had two in a 6-0 run in the first game that helped Holy Trinity pull away. Mary Kate Bendlage had three consecutive in a 6-0 run that tied the second game at 9.
Holy Trinity, which has won 10 of its last 11 matches in the last eight days, needed a sweep to end the long stretch. And the Crusaders got it, although it wasn’t easy. They struggled in the second game after breezing through the first.
“We weren’t passing the ball well and our communication broke down,” Freesmeier said. “That’s something we’ve been working on — when we communicate, we really, really do some good things.
“I thought the energy came down a little bit. But at the end we pulled it out and went on for the win.”
Mary Kate Bendlage led the Crusaders with eight kills, adding 14 digs. Myers had seven kills along with five blocks, and Kayla Box and Anna Bendlage each had two. Reagan Holvoet had one.
Anna Bendlage had 18 assists and six digs. Box had a dig and two blocks. Holvoet had four digs and a block. Teagan Snaadt had nine digs. Laura Mehmert had six digs.

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